Spring Trimming in Florida
Who doesn’t love Spring? There’s no better time to go outside and do some landscaping or trimming. The heat hasn’t hit yet, and plants love the warmth, flourishing in the extra sunlight. It’s a great time to inspect your lawn’s irrigation, because the following months will be hot and dry. This is also the time of year when people feel inspired to start new landscaping and garden projects. So when you’re deciding what to do with your Spring season, it pays to keep up on basic maintenance.
In this article, we’d like to go over Florida’s best pruning and trimming practices.
What is the Difference Between Pruning and Trimming?
Taking care to cut back your plants can be a steady job, with more to do every day. That’s especially true during the Spring. So when people say pruning, what do they mean? Is there a difference between pruning and trimming? Yes!
How to Trim?
To trim a plant, you clip off new growth to maintain the plant’s shape and height. You also trim plants to remove dead or dying leaves. In general, you can trim a plant any time in Florida. You’ll want to trim often to keep your shrubs especially spherical, after all. However, this is for maintenance, so it’s not too intense.
How to Prune?
Pruning, also called hard pruning, is cutting back up to half of a plant’s growth. The amount cut ranges from a third to a half, and you should only do this during warm months – Between March and October. If you cut during colder months or early Spring, you risk damaging new growth with cold. Buds that form after a hard pruning are especially susceptible to damage. You usually only need to prune your landscape plants once a year. If you spend your winters in Florida, give your plants a hard prune before heading back up North.
Before giving your plants a hard prune, always give them a good watering. Then, wait at least an hour before you start cutting.
Specific Trimming and Pruning Tips
If you’re growing azaleas, wait for them to finish blooming before you do anything. This includes trimming! Azaleas are sensitive plants, and they may stop blooming or skip bloom cycles if upset. It would be best to treat flowering plants that bloom on and off in a similar way. Wait for the last blooms to wither and fall off before you cut back. Fertilize the soil when you cut back, and you’ll encourage new growth, too. If you have palms, you’ll never want to cut the tree’s trunk – Unless it’s clustering. You also want to be careful not to chop off the palm’s head. This is where all new growth happens, and if you lop it off, it’s done for. If you prune them every few months, Bush daisies, Mexican heather, and lantana all live longer, healthier lives.
As you trim, make sure your plants get the water they need. Avoid trimming dehydrated, malnourished plants. This can lead to more damage in the long run. Regular watering can introduce problems such as fungus and bacteria into injured plants. And remember: Safety first! Only prune back what you can reach from the ground. Hire an arborist to prune trees that reach higher than 15 feet tall. If you want more information on topics like this, read more on our site at American Irrigation.