Pruning and shaping is very important if you wish to create a plant that is compact and full of blooms. But how do I do that?
How to Train Your Baby Plant’ where even at an early age we began the process of shaping to create multiple lateral stems. Before you get carried away and start whacking you must determine the genetic form in which the plant is going to grow naturally. Is it an upright grower, does it want to be bushy or is it going to drape in its growth habit? You always prune and shape to take advantage of the natural traits of the variety. In other words, you can not make an upright grower become low and bushy but you can prune and shape it in an upright oval form to take advantage of the plants genetics. The natural bushy shape becomes more compact and the weeping form simply becomes fuller and is ideal for hanging baskets.Remember the page ‘
Once you have determined the genetic style of the specimen you maintain the process of pruning and shaping for the life of the plant. Cut new growth stems before they become too long and disproportionate to the rest of the plant.
Keep the size of the plant so that it is in balance with the size of the pot.
I make all of my pruning and shaping cuts with a razor blade cutting just above a leaf node at an angle (see example) and I select a node which is pointing outwardly from the plant. I always remove inward growing stems completely. We want to keep the inside of the plant ‘open’ to allow good ventilation and to reduce a potential space where pests and fungus would thrive.
When I want my plants to bloom I simply stop pruning and shaping long enough for flower buds to form. Now you reap the harvest since you have created many more stems on the plant through proper pruning and shaping there will be an abundance of flowers. Then it is back to pruning and shaping to restore the desired plant shape and the process repeats itself over and over again.