Pruning Plants

deadheading vs. pruning

Zone Toronto, Ontario Canada | Anonymous added on September 18, 2018 | Answered

SIMPLE!!!!! But cannot find on any expert's gardening site. Merely asking: what is difference between PRUNING a plant and DEADHEADING the plant. How/when would be appreciated. Thanks. Cheers! John

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    Answered on September 18, 2018

    Dead-heading refers to removing a faded bloom. Some plants, like daisies and coneflowers will produce more blooms on the same stem and gardeners remove the stem between the faded bloom and the emerging one. I include that in dead-heading. Trimming removes soft tips off shrubs, mostly. This is done a couple times a year for hedges and boxwoods to restrain growth and shape. Pinching flowers to make the plants shorter and more bushy is a form of trimming. Pruning is removing hardwood branches when it is applied to shrubs and trees. Some perennials, like asters and bee balm, are prone to mildew so I remove a few stems to the ground to increase air circulation. This is pruning also. Pruning affects the entire plant; it is a stimulus to grow. Trimming and dead-heading only affect the tip/stem that has been cut; they encourage some leafy growth right at the cut (shrubs) and more bloom formation (herbaceous perennials and annuals). (Herbaceous plants are those that die back to the ground in winter.) If you are cutting at the edge of a plant you are dead-heading or trimming. If you are into the guts of the plant, you are pruning.

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