If you have some plants at home, surely you carry out certain care so that they grow healthy and strong. Each care you carry out pursues certain objectives. For example, when you select a soil mix for one of your plants, you are looking for one that can provide the necessary nutrients and has some ability to hold water. The same thing happens with pruning, we do not cut branches at random, but we do it pursuing certain objectives.
The better we do the pruning, the plant will be able to take better advantage of all the benefits of this care technique. Obviously if we can in a deficient way, more than benefits, what we will obtain will be problems. So it is vitally important to be properly informed about how and when the plant in question should be pruned. On our website we have articles on pruning dozens of different plants, so I invite you to browse the blog to find what you are looking for. 😉
As you will have read in the title, in this article we will fully dedicate ourselves to talking about all the benefits of pruning. We will separately discuss the benefits for different types of plants, such as fruit trees, shrubs, flowers. Also, since we know that not everything is beneficial, we will take a moment to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of pruning.
It is interesting to analyze that although a plant care technique such as pruning brings direct benefits for the plants, the truth also has benefits for the pruner. The pruning is a good excuse to be outdoors and connect with the nature of your garden. It is more than proven that connecting with nature brings many benefits, it helps us reduce our stress, calm down and think clearly. You can find out more about the benefits of nature with this certified forest therapy guide.
Table of Contents
1. Why pruning is important?
We can define pruning as a combination of various techniques that stem from the biological knowledge of plants and is carried out for certain reasons. These reasons are five: safety, hygiene, aesthetics, production and quality. Depending on the plant in question, some of those five reasons may be more or less predominant.
For example, if what we have is a rose bush, security is not an important factor. What predominates is health, aesthetics and the production of roses. But if what we are going to prune is a large oak tree, safety is usually the key point in pruning.
Let’s take a closer look at the five reasons why you should prune your plants:
When what you have is urban trees, and especially if they are large trees, the most important thing about pruning is to ensure the safety of people. Falling branches can cause serious accidents, so regular pruning is key. This type of pruning can be greatly reduced with good tree planting practices. There are certain trees that are not recommended for plants in public spaces. But believe it or not, ignorance makes them keep planting. This is why we must resort to pruning to control possible dangers.
I can’t think of any plant right now that doesn’t need health pruning. With these prunings, what is sought is to remove diseased branches or those attacked by pests, to thin them out to improve ventilation, to eliminate broken or damaged branches. By eliminating this type of branches, what we are looking for is that the plant stops spending energy on “sick” elements, thus redistributing those nutrients to the healthy parts. This increases the overall vigor of the tree, improving health.
Pruning for aesthetic purposes is carried out on ornamental plants, where what is sought is to improve the natural characteristics of the trees and encourage floral production. The appearance of the tree is the objective of this pruning, not only individual but collective, it will determine the artistic picture of the landscape pruner while it will mark a certain type of landscape for the view of others
These prunings are oriented to plants that produce fruit or flowers. Carrying out certain techniques it is possible to stimulate the generation of flowers (and consequently of fruits) thus allowing to obtain greater benefits. For each type of plant certain techniques must be followed, for this it is necessary to know all the vegetative characteristics of the plant.
This last point applies to plants whose objective is the production of wood. Therefore pruning what they pursue is to be able to obtain the highest quality wood possible from the tree. Depending on the characteristics of the plant, more or less pruning intervention may be needed to maximize quality.
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2. Benefits of pruning
Depending on the type of plant in question, the objectives that are pursued with pruning change. Therefore the benefits that can be obtained will also change. That is why we will separate this section into three types of plants, furtales, shrubs and flowers.
Of course, this is a simplistic analysis, since in reality everything ended up getting mixed up. For example, you will have shrubs that are also floral or fruit plants. As well as floral plants that at the same time have fruits that we are interested in harvesting.
2.1 Fruit trees
In fruit trees, the main objective of pruning is to facilitate and accelerate their fruiting. This is because with it we can modify the sap currents and the arrangement of the branches.
If the plant is too vigorous, it will tend to only make wood and bear less fruit. And on the contrary, if the tree is covered with fruit, it will end up dying of exhaustion. This is because all the sap it produces will serve to feed the fruit to the detriment of the tree.
Having clarified the above, we can list the following benefits that are obtained with correct pruning:
- Increases fruit production: pruning encourages new growth and stimulates fruiting of the wood, leading to increased fruit production.
- Improves the size and quality of the fruits: by removing excess branches and limiting the number of fruitful shoots, the tree can channel its resources to produce larger and juicier fruits.
- Improves light and air penetration for fruit: pruning opens the tree canopy, allowing more sunlight and air to reach the fruit, which can reduce disease and promote even ripening.
- Taking care of the health of the tree: performing sanitary and cleaning pruning prevents the spread of many pests or diseases. In large plantations with many plants, this type of practice is essential.
Shrubs are generally plants that can grow out of control, which is not a good thing in any garden. Many neglected shrubs end up with a lot of woody wood and little foliage, which is unsightly. For this reason, in most shrubs it is essential to carry out periodic pruning.
With pruning done correctly, at the right time, we will help the bush in the following ways:
- Improving the structure and shape of the plant: Pruning can help shape the shrub and prevent it from growing too large or becoming misshapen.
- Increased Bloom and Foliage Density: Pruning can encourage the shrub to produce more flowers and leaves, resulting in a fuller, more attractive plant.
- Increase your resistance to diseases and pests: Pruning can help remove infected or damaged parts of the bush, preventing the spread of diseases and reducing pest infestations.
2.3 Flower plants
A good garden should always have flowers. And if you know how to choose the plants correctly, you can have flowers throughout the year. But with a good selection of plants it will not be enough. Many plants need to be pruned correctly in order to flourish properly.
Among the benefits of pruning flowering plants we can mention the following:
- Increased Bloom and Extended Bloom: By removing spent blooms and dead blooms, the plant can focus its energy on producing new blooms, resulting in a longer, more abundant bloom season.
- Improving plant shape and size: Pruning can help maintain a compact and attractive plant shape, preventing the plant from becoming spindly or spindly.
- Increased resistance to diseases and pests: Similar to shrubs, pruning can help remove diseased or pest-infested parts of the plant, preventing further damage.
3. Pruning Advantages and Disadvantages
Not everything can be positive, so we are going to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of pruning. You will see that when we talk about the advantages we will be quite repetitive. Since it is what we have been talking about throughout this post.
3.1 Advantages of pruning
- Stimulates plant growth and development: By pruning we help stimulate the growth of new shoots and shoots, which can lead to increased plant vigor and productivity. By removing dead or damaged wood, pruning can also help improve the overall health of the plant.
- Control plant size and shape: Pruning can help control plant size and shape, which is especially important for fruit trees and shrubs. By removing excess growth, pruning can help prevent crowding and improve access to sunlight and nutrients.
- Improves the appearance of the plants: without a doubt, a good pruning improves the aesthetics of the plants. By removing dead or diseased branches, pruning can also help reduce the risk of infection and decay to plants.
- Increases Yield and Fruit Quality: Pruning helps increase the yield and quality of fruit trees and shrubs. By eliminating excess growth, you are helping to generate more and better fruits.
3.2 Disadvantages of pruning
So far we have only highlighted the positive aspects that come with the practice of plant pruning. But the truth is that there are certain negative points.
The most important disadvantages that we can mention are the following:
- Requires Skill and Knowledge: Pruning requires skill and knowledge, as improper pruning can be harmful to plants and reduce their overall health and productivity. This is a point that many gardeners forget. They prune all the plants in the same pattern, something that does nothing but damage their plants.
- Can be harmful if done incorrectly: Improper pruning can harm plants and reduce their overall health and productivity. Not all plants endure and recover in the same way from pruning.
- Can Reduce Overall Plant Vigor: Pruning can sometimes reduce overall plant vigor, especially if too much growth is removed. It is important to balance the benefits of pruning with the needs of the plant.
- It can increase susceptibility to diseases and pests: by pruning we are creating wounds and stressing the plant. This can make them more susceptible to being attacked by various diseases or pests.
It should be noted that all these negative aspects are negative when we can incorrectly. As long as we can properly and with the necessary knowledge we will not be damaging our plants.
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