For novice gardeners, one of the hardest things to learn to do is how to prune your garden effectively because, let’s face it, it doesn’t feel natural to cut away at a living plant! But pruning is an important step in keeping your garden healthy and thriving, so here are some tips to help you get it right.
What you’re looking for when you prune are dead stems, leaves, or petals that may be crowding healthy growth and blocking sunlight and nutrients from getting to the living parts of the plant. The best time to prune is just as the buds on a plant or shrub are beginning to swell—if you wait too long, your view will be obscured by healthy leaves and blooms!
If your plants, shrubs, or trees are young, prune lightly, as pruning will slow the overall growth of the plant. Generally speaking, young plants won’t need too much pruning anyway. Prune away any dead stems, all the way to the root or until you see healthy growth, and prune anything that’s been broken, even if it’s still green.
Remember to keep your pruning shears sharp. Your plants will heal faster if it’s a neat and clean cut, so old, dull shears could do a lot of damage to your garden. Proper pruning will encourage your plant to grow and flower quicker and healthier, so keep these tools in mind and head out to your garden with your sharpened pruning shears to see what plants need a little help today!