If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that allows coleus to survive the winter outdoors, it’s time to prepare your plant for spring. Pruning is essential to maintaining its shape, and removing spent flowers can encourage new growth.
To avoid over-cutting and leggy growth, pinch back your coleus stems regularly using clean pruning shears. This simple technique stimulates dormant leaf buds along the stem that create a bushier appearance.
Spring pruning is a great way to prepare your landscape for the growing season. It can help support the development of stronger branches, reduce disease and improve the overall shape of your trees and shrubs.
While you can prune trees and shrubs anytime during the growing season, it’s best to do so in late winter and early spring for several reasons.
For one, this is when you’ll be able to see your plants more clearly and understand their form and structure better. It’s also a time when you can apply organic fertilizer to your plants’ root zones, ensuring that they’ll have the nutrients they need to get through the summer.
Spring pruning is also a good time to trim up early-spring bloomers, like lilacs and forsythia, as well as summer flowering shrubs, such as althea, buddleia and crape myrtle. If you prune these early-spring shrubs too soon in the season, you’ll remove dormant buds and decrease the amount of spring bloom.
Summer pruning can help control growth and remove unwanted lateral shoots that shade out neighboring limbs. This is especially beneficial for mature fruit trees, but should be done carefully.
Pruning during summer also helps to assess the regrowth pattern on the tree and determine whether any problems might exist, such as defective limbs that may fall during a storm. This is a crucial step in maintaining the health of your trees and reducing the risk of future damage.
To prune off leggy growth, use a pair of sharp, sanitary hand pruning shears to snip off the stem at its base. This will activate dormant leaf buds along the stem, creating a bushier appearance.
Fall is a great time to prune many plants, including coleus. This is because they are entering dormancy and not focusing on producing new growth.
However, pruning should be done carefully and only on select leaves or stems that are damaged or dead. Sharp, sanitary pruning shears are necessary for making these cuts.
Pinching back leggy growth is also a good way to keep coleus looking healthy and full. This helps them develop a dense foliage cover and adds to their overall appeal.
A pair of quality hand pruning shears can be used to trim any leggy growth on a coleus plant. Be sure to clean and disinfect your shears before and after every use.
Coleus can be perennial or annual plants depending on the climate. Perennial coleus will die back to the ground in winter and regrow in spring.
Winter pruning makes a big difference in tree health. It can make a tree safer and rejuvenate weaker trees by removing dead, diseased or damaged wood.
Pruning during winter can also help manage insects and disease. Insects and fungi that can cause problems, such as oak wilt in many regions, are more dormant during winter.
Similarly, Dutch elm disease and beetles that carry spores that can cause Dutch elm disease are less active in winter.
As with all pruning, a good understanding of the plant species and associated insect and disease issues is necessary before making the appropriate cuts.
In general, the best time to prune is in spring or early summer, when buds are formed on new growth and a tree is actively growing. If you need to prune during the growing season, do it in the morning or evening, when a plant can recover more easily.