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Should I trim off flower buds on basil?

If I get your question right, should you pinch the buds of the basil plant before they flower in order to maximize leaf production? Answer yes. If you don't trim the buds off, then they will flower, ...
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13 votes

Is it safe to hard prune my basil plant?

I would suggest a slightly different approach: Make cuttings from the top(s), that way you will get smaller and compact plants (that you can then prune before they get long and leggy) and with a bit ...
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12 votes

How should I prune a half-dead bush of rosemary?

Cut off all dead wood at the base, leaving just the live stems - you don't need to do anything to the roots. You might, though, want to consider replacing the plant - it'll look pretty ugly once the ...
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12 votes
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Should I prune a Venus Flytrap to prevent it from digesting itself?

It won't digest live plant matter. Venus flytraps secrete the enzymes phosphatase, proteinase, nuclease and amylase. These enzymes target insect prey, which have high levels of protein. They do not ...
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11 votes
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How should I deal with tree root pushing on brick retaining wall?

If you cut the root you will damage the leaves that are fed by that root. That root also provides structural stability. A better idea is to rebuild or remove the retaining wall in that area. The ...
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10 votes
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How do you manage dying leaves on young plants?

The only time you usually remove leaves which are slightly damaged or part dead is if the plant is highly ornamental and it's detracting from its appearance, or the leaf is damaged by some kind of ...
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10 votes

Pruning a weeping mulberry

Oh my goodness. Do you understand the treasure you have? Find a master pruner to create a covered walkway! How wonderful. If you destroy this tree I will haunt you when I am dead! (Grins). That ...
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  • 39.8k
10 votes

My sunflowers are too tall (over 5') and butting into the top of my enclosed garden

Sunspot is a relatively "short" variety that only grows to 4 feet. Autumn beauty will grow to about 6 feet. The Mexican sunflower Tithonia diversifolia (which is not really a sunflower at ...
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9 votes
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Should I seal the wounds where limbs were removed on a crape myrtle?

According to Wayne K. Clatterbuck in the article Tree Wounds on the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Tree Care Kit: Research indicates that wound dressings (materials such as tar or paint) do not ...
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9 votes
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How should I care for my multi-variety apple and pear trees?

You definitely need to do some pruning. Before you start pruning a tree, you should find all of the graft points. Since you have multi-graft trees, there should be one graft at the point where each ...
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9 votes
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Japanese Maple Care after years of neglect

The white patches mostly appear to be one of the lichens rather than fungal mycelium - the fact that they're under the moss isn't unusual, and no treatment is required. Moss and lichens often occur ...
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9 votes
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Can I prune a grape vine in near-freezing weather?

You can also prune when it freezes, without problems. I do that regularly under snow and have never had a problem. It is also done regularly in my region. Just: don't prune too much early: wait a ...
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8 votes
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Can rubber gloves spread plant diseases?

It's certainly possible to spread some fungal infections on gardening gloves and tools you may have used. Given you're wearing rubber gloves, after handling diseased plant material, its sensible to go ...
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8 votes
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Practical identification of suckers on a cumquat tree

It would seem the scion is at the base of your plant, as shown in the second picture. Therefore, the branch you're concerned about is not a sucker because it doesn't arise from below the scion, or ...
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8 votes
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Pruning suckers from bush beans?

Allow the side shoots to grow. Bush beans are bred to be bushy, so by removing them you're fighting the plants' natural growth habit. The side shoots also carry leaves, which will provide more energy ...
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8 votes
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How should I prune this grafted lemon tree?

You may be right - the grafted part died back, the rootstock took over, and the only part that's left of the original grafted lemon is at the bottom. It shouldn't be thorny - the thorny parts will ...
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8 votes
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Is this rule of thumb for timing dormant pruning correct?

I think the grouping would look more logical if it were made on the way the trees set fruit: stone fruit trees (plum, apricot) are the early bloomers, while the trees with fruits that contain seeds (...
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8 votes
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Can I trim a blue spruce tree to keep it from getting larger?

You can certainly try to, but you will face at least two significant problems: Apical dominance - if you cut out the leader (the strongest shoot right at the top of the tree) this will trigger other ...
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8 votes

How to get more shoots after pruning Yucca?

Some plants have epicormic buds under their bark and from these buds new shoots can emerge. It looks that your Yucca has them on the white areas of the trunk and you can lightly scratch the bark in ...
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8 votes
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Should I redo this pruning cut?

The cut is fine but the tree has or will have issues. You can see that there is already interior decay in the heartwood of the tree. As stormy indicates water will enter the wound and decay will ...
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7 votes
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What is the term for this pruning technique that causes stubby, clublike branches?

That is called pollarding. It is a pruning system that promotes uniform yearly growth, in dense heads over the tree. You basically cut the branch ends at a certain diameter, and remove all smaller ...
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7 votes
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Bay Leaf Tree (Laurus Nobilis) with severe scale

The problem with a large tree like this is that trying to spray it requires professional equipment. Even with a pressurized sprayer you will get whatever you are spraying drifting onto to neighbors ...
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7 votes

Which side of a dead branch should you prune?

The living part. You want the cut end to heal, which means that it has to be living. Also, if the branch is dying because of infection, you don't want to leave that part of the branch attached for ...
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  • 7,159
7 votes

When and how should I prune lavender?

Lavender is a plant that can get straggly if it's not pruned, but it's a small perennial shrub, so its needs are very different from basil which is an herbaceous annual. Essentially, you allow ...
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  • 7,159
7 votes

Is it better to cut off drying branches sooner or later?

This is the correct place to ask this question. The answer is yes, pruning branches that aren't doing anything for the plant saves the plant energy. The plant will 'prune' itself eventually so if we ...
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7 votes
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Can I cut my pineapple (Ananas?) leaves?

Yes, you can cut your leaves without the plant dying. Pruning pineapple plants is common for the very reason you're describing. If you have fruit growing (which it doesn't look like you do), then you ...
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6 votes
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Which plant is this? “Dead ends,” pruning, watering tips

This is a croton, a member of the euphorbia family. There is an amazing variation in leaf shape and colour as can be seen in this link so I am not able to identify the variety. They need bright light ...
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6 votes
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Should blueberry suckers be removed?

Unless you know you bought a specially grafted plant, blueberries grow on their own roots, which means the sucker problem doesn't happen. A sucker is a shoot that grows from below the graft point on a ...
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  • 129k

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