Table of contents:
The main methods of shaping the appearance of a plant include pruning, pinching, pinching and tying to a support or trellis. Each procedure has its own purpose.
Pruning is very important for plants as it maintains a balance between the aboveground part of the plant and its root system. When forming the crown by pruning, it is necessary not only to give the plant a beautiful look, but also to achieve an even supply of nutrients to all branches of the plant, in addition, the plant should be accessible from all sides to light and air.
Some plants (laurels, myrtles, biota, boxwood, etc.) can withstand pruning to give them a wide variety of shapes, for example, a ball, a pyramid, etc.
To obtain a standard form, all lateral shoots are removed from the plant, and when the shoot intended for removing the stem reaches the desired height, its top is pinched. This will cause the appearance of lateral shoots from the axils of the leaves, the tops of which are also pinched, and this is done 2-3 times, until the crown branches out well enough. Roses, pelargoniums, fuchsias, etc. are grown in standard form.
Pruning is carried out annually in the spring, after transplanting. Shoots are trimmed above the outward-facing bud. In this case, the cutting should not remain above the kidney, but the kidney should be intact. Pruning is done with pruning shears, sharp scissors or a knife.
Strong pruning is also used to rejuvenate plants (pelargonium, fuchsia, hydrangea, etc.). In this case, almost the entire crown is removed, only short shoots with 2-3 buds are left. When pruning, take into account where buds should form - on old or young shoots. Plants that flower on new summer shoots are pruned in the spring, before growth begins.
By the way: pinching the apical bud does not always immediately lead to the development of lateral shoots, sometimes it takes quite a long time. For example, once in May, I pinched the apical buds of two lateral shoots on the euonymus, and these shoots started branching only in July, all this time, other, not pinched shoots grew.
Wire formation of plants
This technique is used not only to create bonsai, but also for ordinary shrubs or miniature trees grown at home. Wire forming can be done in two ways:
- wrap the wire around the branch in a spiral
- make a loop and bend the branch in the desired direction
The method depends on the purpose - if you need to straighten a curved branch or take it to the side, then we use the winding, if only lower it down, then just pull it (in the second photo, the right branch is directed downward, the wire is attached behind the edge of the pot). By the way, if you bend the branch strongly down, so that the top of the shoot looks towards the window sill, then after a while the buds or one bud located closer to the base of the trunk awaken on this branch, that is, a new shoot appears in the lower part of the branch. This technique is used to force the plant to branch.
If you want to use wire wrapping, then keep in mind that branches with a thin, vulnerable bark must first be wrapped with soft electrical tape so as not to injure the plant. In addition, it is unnecessary to overlay the coils very tightly, because the branches grow not only in length, but also in thickness. If you do not leave a margin, the wire will grow into the bark and leave a scar (photo below).
Before putting wire on densely leafy shoots, you need to rid them of small twigs and leaves in order to better see the skeleton of a tree or shrub. Do not think that they will remain bald, over time they will grow even more.
Pinching, or pinching, consists in removing the apical kidney - it is removed by hand or cut off with scissors or a knife. This causes the development of side shoots. The plants are pinched after transplanting, when they take root and begin to grow. It should be borne in mind that pinching and pruning delay the beginning of flowering, therefore, after the plants get the desired shape or bushiness, pinching is stopped. Pinching or small pruning in August of strong branches with flower buds improves the quality of flowers.
Many plants are pruned after flowering (acacia, hydrangea, etc.). Plants that become very bald during the winter in warm conditions (for example, fuchsia) are pruned in the spring when new growth begins. At the same time, dry, weak and excess branches are cut off. Good strong stems are cut by about half.
In passionflower, after flowering, all flowering shoots are cut off almost to the base, and in the fall, in addition, all non-lignified shoots are cut off. In the spring of passionflower, the lower shoots are cut off in order to direct all the juices to the upper, flowering shoots. But in hoya (wax ivy), on the contrary, flower-bearing shoots are not cut off, because they are capable of producing new flowers.
Stepping is a technique that consists in removing excess lateral shoots (stepsons). It is mainly used for decorative flowering plants. Non-flowering or poorly flowering lateral shoots are removed. This technique promotes more abundant flowering and larger flowers. Also, pinching is required on ampelous plants, such as fuchsia, especially when the shoots are not tied up to the support, but hang freely. At the same time, strong branching occurs from one stem, and if some of these branches are not removed, the stems become heavy and may break off. And, in addition, non-pinned, strongly branching shoots quickly become bare at the base, this happens not only in fuchsias, but also tradescantia, hoya, hypocyrtes.
In addition to ampelous, all indoor flowers, which tend to grow a dense, shapeless crown, need pinching. For example, hibiscus, azaleas (rhododendrons), euonymus, pomegranate, some ficuses, such as benjamin.
Garter to support
The plant garter is designed to make the plant more resilient and more beautiful. A garter to a support should be mandatory for plants that are taken out into the garden in the open air so that the plant is not damaged by the wind. Plants are tied up with woolen thread, soft braid, ribbon, large plants in the form of trees are tied up with wire (in a winding). It is better to take threads or braid in green or brown color. When tying it, it is important that the plant does not damage the bark or skin of the stems. Plants with a long stem are tied up in several places. In bushy plants, one or more main stems are tied up.
The photo shows ways to create a garter wall, from trellises, can be made from thin slats. It is so convenient to tie up not only lianas (ivy, hoyi and other plants), but even fruit trees, ficuses. Moreover, if you form citrus fruits in one plane on a trellis, you can get a more productive fruit tree. Judge for yourself, at home the lighting is one-sided (the chandelier and lamps in the room do not count), and a lemon, tangerine or orange tree needs a lot of light and always some sun. The location of the crown in one plane allows you to place the plant even on a narrow window sill, while the branches will not hang over the edge where the batteries, and even if they begin to protrude slightly beyond the edge, you can protect them with a greenhouse film.
The disadvantage of forming a crown in one plane is that it needs to be done from a young age - when the stems are still flexible. That is, you need to think over the entire structure in advance. You will need a frame - a frame to which you need to stretch metal wire horizontally, but thick, not flexible, or wooden slats. The rope and fishing line are not suitable - they will sag under the weight of the branches. And you will have to fix the trellises not in a pot, but in a long box or container (see figure), since the structure is quite heavy, an ordinary pot may simply tip over.
Leaf care can also be called appearance shaping. Dust and dirt settle on plant leaves as well as furniture, but this is not always noticeable. Dust clogs the pores on the leaves, interfering with respiration, reducing the amount of light that plants need, and simply violates the decorative beauty of plants. On plants with wide leaves, dust is especially noticeable. The leaves of such plants should be wiped more often with a damp cloth or sponge. For plants that are not contraindicated for spraying, it would be nice to have a shower periodically if the size of the plant allows. Sprays or leaf polish sprays can also be used, but not all plants can be used. It is especially convenient to use polishing products for large plants that take too long to wipe with a sponge, and if such a plant is in the office,then there is simply no time to wipe the leaves.
Leaf polishes are available at flower shops or a garden center. Before buying a polish, make sure your plant can be polished and read the instructions carefully, and especially the precautions. Plants with pubescent leaves cannot be wiped with a sponge or cloth, and dust accumulates on them as well. Therefore, they are cleaned of dust with a soft paint brush. Cacti and other succulents are also cleaned with a brush, and for the prevention of various pests, these plants are periodically washed with a brush dipped in pure medical alcohol. And of course, everyone should understand that from any plant it is necessary to periodically pick yellowed and dried leaves, as well as old wilted flowers. this spoils its decorative appeal. When you pick old leaves or remove damaged ones, please note thatthere are too many of them. Otherwise, maybe a pest has wound up on your plant, or the conditions of care are violated.