Purposeful Pruning

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Purposeful Pruning is the act of shaping your plant through trimming and pruning in order to get the desired look. It is also the act of maintaining a specific look for your plants.

The basis of pruning is very simple.  You just need some shears. You need something to sanitize them. Usually, that is isopropyl alcohol and some type of rag to sanitize those shears. That way you are not spreading any diseases to your plants. Also, you will need the plant that you want to shape and prune. Last but not least you will need the idea of how you want your plant to be growing.

The plan

The plan

Plan the shape of the plant and your long-term desired outcome for this plant. In order to properly fully develop your plan, you will have to research your plants and figure out their growth patterns. You will need to know exactly where to cut, when to cut, and how to cut, in order to get your plant to grow the way you want it to. All plants have a different way of growing so it really just depends on the type of plant that you are trying to grow. It needs to be narrowed down to a little more than just Philodendron in general. It has to be more specific like a Philodendron Micans or Philodendron Burle Marx. You need to be a little bit more narrowed down because every single individual type of plant will grow a certain way. Do not worry though we are going to get you started on that today with 5 basic popular plants and how they grow and how you can prove them to shape them how you want.

 Philodendron Burle Marx

 Philodendron Burle Marx

These Philodendrons like to grow upright as opposed to trailing. When you trim them you trim the top and then they will push out more growth from the bottom. So if you want a very bushy Burle Marx then you want to trim it quite often. When it has new growth and it starts getting a little bit leggy then you want to cut it back in order to keep it compact and have a nice shaped plant. If you want a longer plant that is more full and has more mature leaves then you want to give it some type of pole to climb. When you make those top cuts you want to make sure that it’s the next node that’s activated and you want to keep it kind of close to the top.  You also want to make sure that it is starting to get really leggy before you start chopping it. If it just gets a few leaves on it and then you chop it right away you are going to make it more compact and bushy instead of leggy with mature leaves.

Tradescantia

Tradescantia

All varieties of this plant grow very quickly.  The trailing varieties tend to get very bare on the top. In order to get a very full plant, you do want to trim the ends of these plants. Then you want to take the ends and put them back on the top of the planter. What is happening to the plant when you trim those ends Is that it’s actually telling the plant at the base, to make more new growth. So not only will the base of the plant be filled up with the propagation that you just put in there but it will make new growth.  This will make sure you have a much more full and bushy plant, that is going to trail very nicely for you. It will also look a lot more compact for you.

Fittonia

Fittonia

These plants tend to get really leggy. If you like this that’s perfectly fine. There is no need to trim it whatsoever then. However, if you would like a more bushy and more compact plant then you want to give it lighter and you want to trim it. When you go to trim you want to cut it all the way down at the base and then let it grow 2 shoots. Then trim those top 2 shoots off when they start pushing out the third set. Then let those divide into 2 as well and then continue on this trend. Fittonia has a very particular growth pattern. Their leaves will be in a horizontal pattern and the next set will be in a vertical pattern. You’d better and then another horizontal and another vertical. Continuing the pattern. So if you plan it just right with the way you’re cutting them, you can have a very full bushy plant and just a few cuts instead of having to continually prune it back. This is also great for terrariums because fittonia is a very great terrarium plant. You can add a lot of color to a terrarium with just one little cutting through purposeful pruning.

String of Hearts

String of Hearts

Another popular plant that we wanted to make sure to talk about..A string of Hearts also known as carrapegia woodii . There is a variegated and non-variegated forms out there. They are heart-shaped and tend to trail and vine. You will see these huge cascading curtains of this plant generally. The way they get those huge cascading curtains is by pruning at the very very top of the plant. You want to leave one node left on the rooted cutting in the plant. Then take the rest off. If you want you can divide that up and you can put it on the top of the pot or you can propagate it elsewhere. However, what happens when you trim it right there is that it’s going to tell the plant to divide into two. So it will make two vines from that one vine. You just chopped and then you will go and you will do the same thing again. You will chop those two vines that have grown from that and it will grow two more vines from that. Then you will have a very full curtain-looking plant in no time because these are very fast-growing plants.

Houseplant Trees

Houseplant Trees

 There are lots of different varieties of trees out there but today we’re just going to be focusing. On the three most popular houseplant varieties. They are Aralia, Ficus, and the Norfolk Island Pine. For all three of these trees, you can take a top cutting from them. You would just snip off the top. You can then propagate that top. And by cutting off that top it will tell that tree to create more new growth at the base for you. So you can have a bushier, wider, tree. These trees are all very fast and easy growers. So as soon as they get bushy enough for you or if they start to look like they are getting too long. And not having enough foliage for you then you can then take another top cut. You can also trim on a particular side and that will grow more growth on that particular side for you depending on the type of tree as well

There is a lot of information out there if one of these types of plants is not it. For you, there are plenty of plants out there and plenty for us all to learn.

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