Looking at our colorful and blooming home garden can be a delightful experience for most of us. Nothing can improve the beauty of your garden like pruning at the right time. Not only do your plants look neater, but they also reward you with a fresh flush of blossoms after a good trim.
The right time to prune your garden plants depends on the type of plants. However, the question must be asked—is it necessary to prune garden plants? Well, most plants will survive without pruning, but they will live longer, healthier lives and look better if you prune them. Once you gain confidence in your skills, you’ll find pruning to be one of the true joys of gardening.
Daunted by when to prune which plant? Let’s discuss the best pruning time frame for different plants, from shrubs and herbs to trees, based on their life cycle to thrive and bloom correctly.
Pruning of Shrubs and Trees
You must carefully time the pruning of shrubs and trees as pruning too early or too late in the year can lead to the loss of an entire year of flowers.
Here are the basic rules:
- Spring-flowering shrubs and trees usually bloom on flower buds produced the previous year. Trim them immediately after their flowers start fading away.
- Trees and shrubs bloom with new growth in winter or towards the end of the year. Prune them in early spring or late winter before they start growing again.
- An ornamental tree grown for its showy foliage rather than its flowers should be pruned in early spring or late winter.
- Avoid pruning from late summer through early winter unless there are any damages or disease problems to correct. Plants clipped too late in the year may not get enough time to heal before winter arrives.
However, there are a few exceptions to these rules.
Oaks pruned during the months from April through October are more likely to suffer from oak wilt disease. Similarly, apple trees are to be only pruned in late winter to avoid bacterial fire blight.
Pruning of Herbaceous Plant (Herbs)
Trimming off faded flowers regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep your annuals and perennials blooming. This process, popularly known as deadheading, prevents the flowers from successfully making seeds, so the plant responds by producing more flowers.
You can prune your annuals and perennials on mid-summer days when they begin to look leggy or have ceased flowering. While most perennial plants can be cut back by one-third without harm, some can be reduced to half. On the other hand, most annuals can be pruned down to even five inches from the ground.
Some herbs only need the tips of their main stem to be pinched out. This prevents them from growing too tall and leggy and stimulates bushy growth. The following perennials require pinching:
- Bee balms
Some annuals that need pinching include:
- Annual phlox
- Scarlet sage
- Trailing verbena
Summing It Up
A proper prune is an investment in both the long-term health of your plants and your property’s overall aesthetic. With all this vital information, you are now well-equipped to prune and trim your plants to keep them healthy, happy, and luscious.
If you have any questions, get in touch with our experts at Pickel Landscape Group, who are the best in all things gardening. Get in touch for landscaping ideas, constructions, and garden maintenance.