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Pruning climbing plants
The pruning of climbing plants is closely related to the growth phase of the same and the type of essence being examined.
The main distinctions are: young specimens that have yet to grow; shrubs that have now reached the desired size; deciduous and evergreen plants.
Young plants, that is, all those that need to grow again to reach the desired size, do not need radical cuts. We will mainly cut dry or damaged branches and try to thin out those that are too thick, in order to increase apical growth and decrease the possibility of diseases.
The specimens that have already reached the desired size, will instead be pruned according to their flowering and vigor. Generally the climbing varieties carry the flowers on the branches of one or two years, in the first case the flowering will take place in the summer period, therefore it will be advisable to make the cut before the vegetative restart; on the contrary, if the branch that will bear the flower is two years, it will be advisable to make the cut after the flowering that generally takes place in spring. When the plant is now "squeezed" the pruning must be more frequent; in this case it is advisable to limit the main branches, thus favoring the growth of the lateral branches that will carry the flower.
It is always advisable to "ventilate" the plant inside, keeping it clean from any dry twigs.
The pruning method must also vary depending on whether the plant is or is not evergreen.
The deciduous varieties must be cut when they have lost all the leaves and therefore in the autumn period, while the evergreen ones in relation to flowering (see above).
In the case of variegated climbers it is advisable to immediately eliminate the branches that have single-colored leaves, to avoid the propagation of the latter.
Pruning climbing plants: Pruning techniques
As mentioned above, to perform a correct pruning, the first thing to consider is the type of plant on which the operation must be performed and what is the result that one wants to obtain, as well as, of course, what is the flowering period of the variety to prune.
In fact, there are many types that have different characteristics that must be considered to avoid problems or damage to the plant. When the specimens are still young, it is possible to intervene to give them the desired shape, eliminating the branches that follow a course that does not conform to what was intended. For adult plants it is good to foresee pruning to thin them out when one realizes that the growth of new shoots is suffocated and limited by excessive crowding. Of course, first of all, it is a good idea to eliminate all the branches that present problems or shrinkage, so as to allow the development of new branches.
The general rules for correct pruning also apply to climbing plants, taking into consideration the use of sharp and clean tools, to avoid making badly made cuts, which could compromise the health of the plant. An incorrectly sharpened tool, in fact, can cause fraying and crushing of the plant tissues with a consequent suffering for the shrub which can lead to the onset of permanent damage and, in the most serious cases, dangerous rotting.