Topiary is one of the most fascinating types of plants one can have in the garden. Their unique shapes add a sculptural dimension to the landscape while still being completely natural. Once you get and plant your new topiary plants, you might have questions about how to keep them in shape. A few months from now, they could look totally different. Here are the answers to how often to trim topiary, and how exactly to trim them.
How Often to Trim Topiary
A general recommendation might be once every 2-4 weeks, or once or twice a month. However, it all depends on how fast your particular topiaries grow. Different climates may cause plants to grow at a faster or slower rate, so how often you trim the topiary may vary. When it gets too shaggy for your liking, it could be time to give it a trim. The time period for pruning is between the last and first frosts.
How to Trim Topiary
Keeping topiary in shape can seem like a daunting task, but the right sharp tools and a watchful eye are all you need to get started. These simple tips below are how to trim topiary in a nutshell.
Trim Off Dead & Diseased Branches
The very first step is to identify any dead or diseased branches on your topiary. You can simply clip these off with sharp, sanitized shears. The best way to sanitize your gardening tools is to dip them into a solution with over 70% alcohol. There is no need to dry off the tools before using them to dismember plants of their diseased or dead parts.
Decide How Much to Trim
Once your tree is completely free of any bad parts, you will need to decide how much to trim off. It is generally recommended to allow the plant to keep some of its new growth, such as one inch around, although it is permissible to eventually prune it back down to its original size. When trimming, one can use hand-held shears or clippers to give a detailed trim from top to bottom.
Give It a Drink
Once you are done, you can refresh the topiary with a long, deep drink of water in the cool of the day. Some plants may even prefer that you prune them on a cloudy day, as their newly-pruned leaves could become brown in the sun.
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