How to Prune Outdoor Plants

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Pruning outdoor plants every year is a great way to encourage new growth for the following growing season. Prune back one-third of a plant each winter or early spring with helpful information from a sustainable gardener in this free video on outdoor plants.

Part of the Video Series: Outdoor Gardening
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're talking about how to prune outdoor plants. Now, there's many different rules that you can follow when pruning but basically pruning just means cutting out any of the wild branches or broken branches or anything that doesn't quite look perfect and trimming things up, and my rule of thumb is usually when you're pruning, you don't want to prune any more than one-third of the plant at one time; so, that it will still grow and fill up. Now, what when I'm cleaning my flower beds up after a real hot spill that we just had, I'm just cleaning out anything that doesn't look really good. For example, I got this really pretty black neglect shea. It's really pretty plant and a lot of leaves got sunburn. It was a hundred and seven degrees here. So, basically I'm just trimming out any of the sunburn leaves and I'm leaving all the leaves that look good. So, my rule of thumb again is I want to leave about one third of the plant if possible. Now, I got Irises here that are done blooming. They bloom in the Spring. The foliage doesn't look good so I'm just going to go ahead and I'm going to trim them out completely. So, I'm just pruning them out or trimming them out. They're going to come back and grow really well for the next year. I got Crocuses that are done blooming. So, I'm just going to trim those out. I got all kinds of plants here that are done blooming. So, I'm trimming those out and so I'm weeding at the same time and I'm cleaning up as I go. Now, I got this tree over here that really needs pruned. Again I got Lilies too. I always try to get the pollen as soon as they open. I kind of trim the pollen out and so when I'm trimming up trees to my rule of thumb is not more than one third. Anything that's Medusa like I'm going to trim it out and when you're trimming too it's best to trim where another leaf joins that stem and just cut it at an angle but I've gotten the point too with this tree, I just try to trim a couple times a year and then clean up underneath at some soil everywhere and just a little another layer and then it will clean that right up and look really good through the fall.


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