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Styling your plants

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

We found that one of the hardest things to do when you start keeping plants in your house is to cut them. You've bought them in & tended them & now they are romping away & you feel that at the very least its rude (if not cruel) to start interfering with them but here's some reasons for doing just that.

To improve health & vigour

It is always a good idea to remove or trim any leaves which are damaged or look diseased. The simple reason is that any wounds on the plant are a potential entry point for bacteria & diseases can spread once established on part of your plant. Even healthy plants like #tradescantia which are naturally ground cover plants regularly shed leaves so require active management to keep looking good.

To improve its looks

You may also choose to prune your plant to change or improve its shape. This is particularly useful if your plant has become 'leggy'. That is to say it is growing but there are large gaps between each of the leaves on the stem. This can happen to plants like #scindapsus or #philodendrons if the plant has not been fed sufficiently or is reaching for the light. But it can also be because you just don’t like the way that it is growing & want to change that. It is your plant & it lives with you so feel free to make it yours.

A plant suppresses any growth from potential leaf nodes along its stem as long as the tip of the plant is growing. If you make a cut just above one of these nodes it will develop leaves, usually at both sides, leaving you with a lush plant. You can also use the plant material you gather to propagate more plants or to make the one you have much more luxuriant.

Pruning as art

Humans have long been shaping plants to please us. In our houses this was, until recently, mainly restricted to the tradiational art of Bonsai in which root & stem pruning & training results in miniaturised trees such as Oak & Maple. But more recently the urge to be immersed in green is inspiring people to use indoor planting schemes to create both art & atmosphere in our homes. Plants can be trained to climb up bed posts, walls & staircases, to create living walls or murals or grown in glass terrariums creating eco-systems all of their own. Our imagination is taking us as far away from the image of the English house with one struggling house plant in a cover pot as it is possible to be. What will you do with yours? for a range of lovely plants as well as inspiration & advice

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