Saturday, 16 November 2019

To Prune or Not to Prune


  • Series: Pruning 101
Pruning is one of those jobs that eventually every gardener that grows anything will undertake.
Except of course if you’ve only got a lawn and nothing else, but those gardeners are probably not listening to the radio show or reading this blog.

So over the next 4 weeks, Jason and I will be talking about various pruning jobs and methods.
Today it’s an introduction into what pruning is and different levels of pruning.
Let’s find out.
I'm talking with Jason Cornish from

  • There's several types of pruning.
Tip pruning: removing just the tip of the branches or stems to encourage bushy growth. Using your thumb and middle finger, it's easy to nip out the top couple of leaves at a point just above the next set of leaves lower down. This will stimulate two pairs of leaves to grow from that point.
Light pruning: to remove just the outer leaves without cutting into the semi hardwood or hardwood.
Medium pruning: not a hard prune, but somewhere between  a light prune and removing 30% of growth.
Hard prune: chopping the shrub or tree almost to the ground. A risky undertaking and may result in death of the plant. Some plants such as callistemons and lilly pillies will reshoot from being pruned in this way.


Rock Isotoma: Isotoma axillaris
Family: Lobeliaceae
Fancy a shrubby ground cover plant with purple starry flowers that’s a real standout?
Of course, we all want those in our garden because they fit into any bare spot.
Let’s find out why we should grow it.
Isotoma axillaris
I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.

Rock isotoma is a flowering perennial that grow up to 40cm high x 40cm wide.
Upright stems are often a purplish colour and covered with short, soft hairs quickly becoming smooth.
The leaves are about 1.5–15 cm long and 0.5–5 mm wide with deep, toothed, linear lobes sharply pointed at the apex.
Rock Isotoma grows naturally in sandstone rock crevices in bushland, but don’t let that stop you from growing it in your garden.
Treat it as a biennial plant, but as it self seeds that’s not really a problem.
You may see if for sale in your local nursery Isotoma ‘Blue Star’
It’s a terrific plant with multibranched stems, that grows into a great mound of lilac-coloured, star-like flowers
If you have any questions either for me or Adrian, why not write in to

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