Before Pruning

Four rules to follow before pruning your plants


Before pruning - Make sure that the plant is not sick or diseased

Although pruning makes the plant stronger, in most cases it still takes energy from the plant to facilitate new growth. If you plan some ‘heavy duty’ pruning, allow your natural instincts to make judgment calls. Your plant is already suffering, so there is no need to add more stress, or demand more energy from it. To do so would only make it weaker, though it really depends on the type of illness it is suffering. On the other hand, ‘pinching’ or pruning a few leaves while the plant is still sick, won’t do it any harm.

Bottom line: take care of the plant before pruning, just as you would with anyone else in your life.

Tip - Don't use pruning to take care of a plant, it will only make things worse. And begin your pruning only when the ground is moist. 



Make sure that the blade of your pruning shears is clean and sharp.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: cheap pruners with cheap blades, plus the fact that they aren’t clean, can put your garden on a path that’s disease ridden. High quality pruning shears make a huge difference - like in any field, quality tools make the work easier and more effective. So, if you’re planning on buying pruners, I recommend you go with a well-known brand that will last you for years. I've used dozens of pruning shears over the last 20 years, and I can tell you that you can end up paying a very high price a for a cheap pair. 


I wrote about it all ready and I'll write again (!), cheap pruners with cheap blades plus the fact you haven't kept them clean, can be your path to a garden that's full of plant diseases. High quality pruning shears make a huge difference, as in any other field. Make sure you're buying a long-lasting well-known brand of pruners. I've used dozens, countless makes of pruning shears in the last 20 years. There is a very high price you might pay for a cheap pair, too high. Don't go there!


Smile, you’re about to enjoy yourself! 

The rules are less important - you’re about to have a heap of fun. And it doesn’t matter if you have a garden, a plot, a window box, planters, pots, or a wheelbarrow you've planted in. I don't care. As far as I’m concerned, these are all huge gardens. If all you have is a shoe with a tomato plant - then that isn't your garden. Your kingdom! So smile, go out and don't hesitate for a moment. My hand pruning guide will help and support you, so all that is left for you to do is... prune.

Providing general guidelines on 'how to prune' any kind of plant is important, but there are plants, and there is YOUR plant. So despite there being loads of information on this site, I also provide specific and personalized support. If something wasn't clear, or you're not sure of your plant's name, simply send me a picture with your question. Use the form below and I'll get back to you. In the mean time, see what others are asking. 

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