Pruning of Plants
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Just as plants need fertilizer and water from time to time, in the same way pruning of the plant is also necessary from time to time. Due to this, trees and plants become more alive and healthy.
What is pruning of the plants? What is the right time to do the pruning of the plants? Why do we need to do the pruning of the plants? What are the right techniques to do the pruning?
There are so many reasons for the pruning and it depends on different parts of the plants. In this article, we will know why, when and how we should do pruning of different parts of plants.
What is Pruning?
When we cut the leaves, stems, branches, roots, flowers or any part of the plant to give it a shape and for the growth of the plant, that process is actually called pruning.
It is the process of selectively removing parts of plants to control plant growth and development in a particular pattern.
Pruning is one of the main contributing factors to keep garden plants healthy, beautiful and to produce more vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Purpose of pruning plants
Pruning creates space for the sunlight to reach the roots of the plants.
Pruning makes plant stronger.
Pruning makes plants beautiful.
Pruning stimulate the growth of new fruit-bearing branches.
Pruning enhance the fruit producing area of plants.
Methods of pruning in plants
Before doing pruning, look at the plant and do the scrutiny of which part and from where we have to prune the plant. Pruning becomes a lot easier if you inspect the plants thoroughly before pruning. Special care is required while pruning, otherwise your plant may be harmed.
Below, we have mentioned some of the important methods of pruning in plants:
1. Pruning of leaves
When leaves starts turning yellow or brown: Pruning of the leaves should be done when the leaves of the plants start turning yellow or brown. We should prune the leaves or that part of the plant immediately.
When leaves get any infection: Prune the infected part of the plant immediately because there might be chances of spreading of infection and fungus in the other parts of the plant.
Remove bottom leaves: Prune the bottom leaves of the plant because these leaves have moisture in them, which can lead to pest attack or fungus in the plant. Also, bottom leaves do not play much role in the photosynthesis process.
It is important to prune the damaged leaves of the plant because once the leaf is damaged it won't get recovered for sure.
Also, such leaves do not play any important role in plant growth and the plant would waste its energy on the growing of that leaf.
2. Pruning of branches and stems
We should do the pruning of stems and branches of the plant when the plant is new and smaller in size.
If we do pruning from the beginning then your plant would become more healthy and dense.
If you don't prune the plant from the start, your plant will have very few branches and will grow like a stick.
Why pruning of stems and branches is important?
Plants contain auxin hormone, which is present on the tip of stems and branches.
Plant grows at the tip only because of that side branches would not be able to grow, so when we cut the branches or stem from the tip the growth of the side branches starts. That is why pruning of stems and branches is important.
You can do pruning initially as well as later on also.
Let’s say if you do the pruning of your Tulsi plant (Holy Basil) every month then it will be very bushy and healthy.
You can do pruning by pinching also, but where we have to cut exactly, it matters a lot.
First of all sanitize all your pruning tools (Scissor or pruner) with Dettol or any soap, otherwise infection of one plant might get transferred to another plant.
You have to make a cut just above the node. Node is a point in the stem or branches to which the leaves or branches connect. It looks like a knot.
3. Pruning of Flowers
Flowers after will not bloom again in the same bud after blooming once. So, we need to remove that flower.
For example: In jasmine plant , the entire branch in which the flowers have bloomed need to be removed. Due to this, flowers will start blooming in other branches very fast.
For example: In Tulsi plant (Holy Basil) when the flowers have matured and become seeds. At that point, the life cycle of the Tulsi plant (Holy Basil) is completed and it will get dry very soon. So, the flowers of the Tulsi plant need to be removed to make it healthy and bushy.
4. Pruning of Roots
When the plant grows, its roots also grow. When roots increase a lot, there are chances of root bound.
In this condition you can do two things:
First: Shift your plant in one size bigger pot.
Second: Trim the roots of the plant. You can take your plant out of the pot once in a year, trim the roots, change the soil, add the fertilizers and can place it back in the same pot. In this process roots would not get bound and will grow well in the same size pot.
5. Pruning for shape
Sometimes plants become shapeless. We do pruning to give it a proper shape.
For e.g. If you want to give proper shape to Christmas tree then you have to do regular pruning of this plant.
6. Pruning to control pest attack
If there is any pest attack at any part of your plant, then you have to do the pruning of its branches.
Initially, you can use neem oil or any insecticides but if it has spread enough then you have to cut its branches.
One more thing, if any part or stem of the plant breaks by mistake then cut it properly otherwise it may get fungus or any other infection.
It is very important to do pruning at regular intervals to make plant healthy. Pruning of the plants should be done when it is in its growing period. Do the pruning of the winter plants in the winter season and vice- versa.
In winters we can do pruning of rose plants , marigolds, tomato plants etc. and in summers like Tulsi (Holy basil), hibiscus, rubber plants, etc.
By reading this you will understand why pruning is important. It was all about pruning.
You can watch this video on - Pruning Tips