Pruning is the fine art of selectively removing parts of a plant. There are many reasons why pruning is essential.
- Remove dead parts like buds, roots or branches
- Overall shaping and aesthetics
- To better control the growth of a particular plant or tree
- Reduce the risk of falling branches
- Increase the overall health of a plant or tree
Now that we know the main reasons that pruning is so important, let’s dig a little deeper into pruning right here in the south and what should be focused on during the month of February.
- Selectively prune to shape summer-flowering trees like Crape Myrtle and Vitex to force new spring shoots on which the summer’s blooms will develop. Do not prune so severely that you destroy the overall shape.
- Prune broad leaf evergreens like hollies and narrow leaf evergreens like junipers and arborvitaes to shape any time this month.
- Begin pruning roses in mid-late February. Remove all but three strong, well spaced canes for good structure and cut them back to at least 6 to 8 inches in length. Fertilize them immediately after pruning.
- Prune clump type plants such as Nandina, Mahonia and Aucuba by removing one-third of the tall stalks to the ground. This will force new growth from the base and prevent them from becoming leggy.
- Apply pre-emergent weed control to lawn areas. Watch your neighborhood to see when the yellow Forsythia blooms begin to appear. That is your indication of the proper time to make the application.
Have you noticed any particular benefits from consistent pruning? If so, share your experience with us in the comments section below!