When growing indoors, it is a necessity to have a basic understanding of your plant’s pruning needs. Tool types, timing in the plant’s life cycle, and proper maintenance are some basic skills you need to keep your plant healthy and produce the highest yield possible.
Having a small arsenal of pruning tools is a must for every gardener. These include small hand pruners, bypass pruners for larger stems/branches, and maybe even some loppers for harvest time. Make sure to keep your equipment clean and sharp at all times, both to make your job easier and to prevent damage or pathogen-spread to your plants. Storing pruners with plant matter on them, even for a week, will more than likely promote the growth of bacteria and mold. Always make sure to use hydrogen peroxide on your blades before and after practicing any pruning on your crop to help with sanitation. Additionally, treating recently- pruned areas with NEEM or a beneficial bacteria product will help prevent infection at the site of your cuts.
Pruning consists of the removal of targeted unwanted or unproductive plant vegetation. There are many different reasons that gardeners may choose to practice healthy pruning methods.
First, pruning aids the overall health of the plant by removing any infected or unhealthy vegetative growth. This involves cutting away any yellowing, moldy, and/or pest-infested foliage and branches. Make sure not to shake up these leaves too much while removing, as you can easily spread the problem you are working to remove.
Secondly, gardeners prune to obtain a desired plant shape and size needed in their growing space. This means that you can redirect your plants’ growth and production by targeting specific areas to prune. For example, unproductive, overlapping branches are less desirable when you realize that they are not really producing anything, and are taking up energy that could be used by more productive parts of the plant. Solution? Prune those extraneous branches away. Pruning dense, yet non-productive foliage from the interiors of your plants also has the double benefit of allowing greater light penetration to all parts of your plants, while also increasing airflow, lessening the chance of mold or mildew forming on your plants.
Although it may seem intimidating at first, good pruning is a huge aid in growing healthy, productive plants. This practice will prove itself to be worth the time and energy you put into it as you get familiarized with the plants you are growing and see where they could use a little scaling back or opening up to light and air.