These pictures show last year’s cuttings in need of a prune. Please see below for explanation.
1.Tools for the job (sterilised- in this case neat Vodka- but any spirit will disinfect),
I have also used in the past, finger and thumb to remove stems, but feel this probably encourages more disease by crushing stem- rather than a neat surgical cut.
2.Spring cuttings 2010 now needing a trim as the stems are becoming woody, with flower buds on- much too early for exhibition.
3.showing neater plants- easier to look after with regard to light levels, and their preventative spray against greenfly (see previous post ) important imo.
The plants should now respond to this treatment by producing basal shoots. Will post a picture some four weeks hence to illustrate this point.
A word of WARNING- on some FLORIST FANCY AND ESPECIALLY SHOW PANCY sorts taking the tips out is possibly BETTER than removing the complete stem, as some are shy in throwing base shoots’, AND YOU COULD KILL THE PLANT.
Side shoots then tend to develop -if tip stopped-, then in a little while depending on growing conditions- you could cut back to a strong, low on the stem, side shoot.
Taking the tip out encourages side stems from the stopped stem, which can be used for flowering or taking cuttings.
I feel that these, illustrated, are showing enough base stems to denude the plants fully. In all cases of growing plants sometimes risks are a consideration.