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Pruning Herbs & Perennials

Perennial herbs are plants that keep on coming back. However, they need to be properly cared for or they won't survive. Get tips on how to grow your herbs, pruning techniques, and then how to harvest them.



Pruning Herbs & Perennials

Many people take herbs as an easy way to supplement their dietary habits, and these are much easier to grow and maintain than you might've imagined. Some herbs can be grown indoors or out, but they all require the same basic care.


Perennial and annual herbs are both good for you but with the proper care, you can enjoy fresh herbs all year round.


A Brief Explanation of Plant Growth


The term “pruning” is often used to describe the process of cutting off the leaves, flowers, and stems of a plant in order to promote healthy growth. It is important to note that pruning should not be confused with trimming. Pruning is performed on plants that are already established, whereas trimming is performed on plants that are still young and need guidance.


Pruning can be done for a variety of reasons including:

  • To remove diseased or dead parts from the plant

  • To increase air circulation in the area where the plant sits

  • To remove branches that are too close together or too far apart from one another

  • To control the height of a tree or shrub so it doesn't grow too tall


Perennial Herbs vs. Annual Herbs


It's important to highlight the distinction between perennial herbs, which have a woody stem and don't last for long outside of their growing season, and herbaceous herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon balm, or mint. These are soft-stemmed plants that die naturally in winter.


Those herbaceous plants that are still living this year should be brushed off and cleared of any dead leaves or branches. They may also benefit from dividing and transplanting, soil amendment, and shaping.


Some herbs, like chamomile, provide a good example of this; they don't usually survive the winter unless they're planted in an environment that mimics their natural one: dry and cold. But if you let them go to seed in the fall, or save the seeds from old plants periodically throughout the year, then those same varieties will re-seed themselves.


Pruning chamomile

Perennial herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and thyme will die back each year in the fall. For these plants, it's best to prune them in early spring - ideally, before they wake up for the year.


To prune herbs, you're actually just removing the previous year's dead herbs. But not all herbs like to be pruned completely back to the ground.


What Causes Your Plants to Need Pruning?


Pruning is the process of removing dead, diseased, or damaged parts of a plant. This is done to improve the health and appearance of the plant. Pruning can be done in a number of ways. Some plants need more pruning than others because they have a tendency to grow too quickly or have problems with their shape.


We will discuss the reasons for pruning plants and how to do it properly so that your plants stay healthy and beautiful.


Tips for Successfully Pruning and Shaping Your Garden


Pruning is an important part of gardening and can be the most satisfying. If you have never pruned before, start with a small plant and practice on it.


There are many different types of plants that require different pruning techniques. But before you just chop it down, have a look at the plant to make sure there's no new growth coming up or if any of the old stems still have some green leaves.


Smaller plants can still grow, even without being shaped. As the plant grows, it is easy to watch out for them taking up all of your space or competing with other plants, which can be frustrating. When you see this happening, then think about shaping it.


One way to extend your herb garden and grow various other plants is by splitting them from bigger plants. This will allow you to create new gardens in different parts of the yard or gift them to friends and neighbors who can't wait to start their own herb plants.


When planting an herb garden, leave ample space between plants as they'll continue to grow. In the long run, you'll have enough room for your herbs to grow without getting on top of each other.


If your potted plants are bumping into each other, you'll need to either divide and transplant them or give some away.


1) Trees and shrubs: Prune these plants in late winter or early spring when the sap is running. This will reduce the risk of infection from sap that has dried on the bark. To remove branches, use a handsaw or lopper to cut them off at a point about 2 inches above where they meet another branch or trunk.


2) Perennials: These plants need to be trimmed after they have bloomed in order to keep them healthy and looking their best. Trim perennials by cutting off any dead flowers, leaves, stems, or other growth with sharp shears (a pair of scissors will work). Remove any broken branches by cutting them off near the base of the plant with a sharp tool.


Pruning should be done in the springtime to avoid any risk of frostbite.

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