How to Prune Your Plants for Higher Yields

Written by Amir Tajer


Posted on July 27 2020

Proper pruning is an integral part of routine plant maintenance. The practice plays a critical role in enhancing your plants' aesthetic appeal and restoring good health when they get sick.

You can also selectively remove broken limbs, dead growth, and undesired growth that depletes energy from the plant to achieve higher yields.

Any time is a good time to prune your plants, but you need to do it well to enjoy the associated benefits.

Below are a few things to know:

What is Pruning?

How to prune your plants

Pruning is the process of selectively removing certain parts of a plant, such as branches, roots or buds. The unwanted parts are usually cut away because they are crossed, damaged, diseased, dead, structurally unsound, or non-productive.

In essence, removing the unwanted parts improves the plant's structure and encourages new, healthy growth. Most plants, such as garden plants, shrubs and trees, will benefit from different methods of pruning in various ways.

What Are Some Pros and Cons of Pruning?

benefits of pruning plants

Before getting rid of the unwanted parts of your plants, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the practice.

Removing excessive branches ensures that sunlight and air get to all parts of the plants and enables the plants to produce more fruits.

The activity improves the looks, shape, health, and longevity of plants.

When it comes to the disadvantages of the practice, it can lead to growth in undesired places or cause the plant to create numerous new shoots.

Pruning at the wrong time may result in new growth that may not harden off by winter.

Is Pruning Beneficial for All Plants?

Pruning seasons and tolerances vary from one type of plant to another. Although all plants can benefit from the practice, not all plants should be cut in the same way.

Evergreen hedge plants and dense flowering shrubs will generally be fine with shearing. However, tall shrubs and trees will do better with selective cuts.

You should avoid pruning susceptible trees during active transmission periods and steer clear of cutting the tops of houseplants as they will not grow back.

Do You Prune Certain Plants Differently Than Others?

There are different pruning methods and techniques available. Different plants also need different pruning. It is important to understand the type of plant you have to identify the most suitable type of pruning.

Generally, the sensitivity and pruning needs of your plants are critical factors to consider when choosing the right pruning technique to ensure healthy growth.

How Do You Prune?

There are four main pruning periods depending on when individual plants flower. These are spring, after flowering, summer, and autumn.

Getting the perfect cut will depend on whether you are pruning new plants, doing formative pruning, renovating old trees, or regenerative pruning. Some basic "cuts" when pruning, include: 

  • Pinching: Just as it sounds, you will pinch off a terminal bud using your thumb and forefinger. 
  • Heading: Cut farther back on the shoot than you would for pinching. The lateral bud usually has grown a leaf, and you cut right above the leaf.
  • Thinning: Decreases the bulk of a plant with minimal regrowth. Each cut removes an entire stem or branch, either back to its point of origin on the main stem or to where it joins another branch.
  • Shearing: A form of heading that makes no attempt to cut back to a bud. Creates a hedge or a bush with spherical or square form.

It is also essential to ensure you have the right tools and know what to cut back.

Pruning varies slightly depending on the plant, but generally speaking, pruning consists of the following:

Step 1: Identify any sick, dead or weak parts of the plant. 

Step 2: With sharp shears, make a cut at the base of the plant part you are trying to remove. 

Step 3: Discard the dead plant material. 

Pruning is simply one way of encouraging healthy growth in plants. Other steps you may want to take include watering, applying the correct fertilizer, and keeping an eye on bugs.

Our eco-friendly, water-soluble fertilizers can help you improve your yields in addition to a solid pruning regimen. Contact us today for more information about our gardening solutions.


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