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Hmmm…well this grouping of grasses is certainly not attractive.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, the Plant Lady Chronicles

Bad pruning and even poorer maintenance are the problems.

I understand that it’s easy to use a hedge trimmer to whack the grasses. But that’s lazy maintenance. And results in ugly “tabletop-like” grasses. If the landscapers are going to use trimmers like that, they should at least trim them down shorter so they don’t look so terrible. The bad pruning can also lead to the grass’s death. In the above photo, half the grass didn’t survive the whack job – you can see it’s all brown down below. That grass is not coming back to life.

The other problem is that the grasses need to be thinned so that new growth has the space it needs. But of course, dividing the clumps takes time, and no one wants to pay for that. So the grasses suffer.

And my eyes suffer, too!

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Good To Grow is an Albuquerque-based interior and exterior landscaping service. We use plants and flowers to decorate offices, homes and patios around the city. We also offer memorial garden services, meaning that when a loved one passes, we can plant a customized garden in his or her honor. If the person who passed was an avid cook, we can plant an herb garden to honor that person’s memory. If a Veteran dies, we can plant a red, white, and blue perennial flower garden. If you lost a beloved pet, we can plant a garden around the burial site.

If you’d like to know more about the landscaping or memorial garden services offered, please send an email to lizatheplantlady at gmail dot com. Thank you for your consideration.

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One thing I’ve learned in my plant care business is that a lot of people are scared to prune their houseplants.

I know, I know, it’s more fun to watch new leaves unfurl than it is to pinch back new growth, or to prune off branches or stems. It’s fun to see if a vine will wrap itself around the kitchen cabinets. Each leaf seems to be prettier than the one before, so how are you supposed to cut any of them off?

Also, some plants are hard to prune. I get that, too. Remember when Tina and I had to prune back the cactus at KOBtv? Brutal!

All that aside, if you’re one of those people who is too chicken to prune, you need to get over it. Sorry, it’s true. For the majority of houseplants (excluding the big ones), a good pruning is like a manicure: A manicure isn’t absolutely necessary for your nails, but if you want really healthy nails, a manicure promotes that. Plants are the same way – a little grooming goes a long way.

Each time you cut a portion of your plant back, you’re promoting a healthier, fuller plant. The plant won’t die if you don’t prune it, but it won’t be as healthy as it could be.

I’m working on a post about pruning – the how-tos, when-tos and which plants need tos – in the coming weeks.

There’s one simple rule I can share with you right now: Think small.

When pruning a houseplant, which is fairly small to begin with, the goal is not to hack the plant to pieces. The goal is to prune little by little. Remove a remove scraggly spot here, pinch back new growth there. If a vine gets too long, cut it back. Where you make the cut, depending on what type of plant you’re pruning, you should get at least two new shoots, which is how your houseplant will get bushier.

Since Epipremnums (Scindapsus, Pothos plant) are popular, let’s take one as an example. Here’s one in an office, obviously needing a cut:

Snip!

Just one cut is all that’s needed sometimes to make a big difference in the plant’s appearance. Here’s another one:

Snip!

Could you cut back even more of the vines? Sure. But my point is that pruning shouldn’t be an overwhelming task. It should be part of your regular maintenance routine.

Another reason to prune little by little is so you can develop confidence and experience. By removing only one vine, you can watch where the cut was made, and see new leaves emerge in the weeks following. You’ll see that the plant’s fine, and that the cuttings are doing well, too.

The cuttings – one awesome advantage to cutting back a plant is that you can root the cuttings and begin new plants. For free!

For my clients, I like to take the cuttings and brighten up drab areas, like this kitchen:

Boring. But look what a little green can do – voilĂ !

Muuuuuuuch snazzier now. The roots will start growing quickly and in just a few weeks, I can use these cuttings to start new plants.

I’ve found that pruning becomes a whole lot less intimidating if you know you can get new plants from the effort.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.

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