Pruning Perennials

Pruning is most commonly done on woodsy plants, but it should also be apart of your regular maintenance routine for perennials during the season to help maintain the health and vigor of your beloved perennials. Pruning extends the blooming time, regenerates the plant, and encourages new growth.

Pruning is also a way to control flower size and the number of flowers. It keeps plants from invading the space of others, and can control pests and diseases. The basic types of pruning are pinching, thinning, disbudding, deadheading and cutting back. To make the plant fuller, pinch back the foliage prior to bud set. This is also an optimal way to delay flowering (often done for fall mums). As opposed to thinning, which is a pruning method used to reduce the fullness of the plant by removing some of the stems at the base.

If you prefer a few large flowers, disbud part of the perennial to encourage the remaining buds to become large flowers. Deadheading is typically done after each flower has faded to encourage more flowers to form, whereas cutting back usually completed after the perennial has completely finished blooming or in the spring before new growth appears.

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