The Maximilian Sunflower is a species of sunflower native to the North American prairies and named after Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, who encountered it on his travels in North America.
Although its rhizome is used as food by the Native American Sioux, is attractive to birds, and is eaten by livestock, Maximilian sunflowers are excellent choices for gardens because of their beautiful blooms.
Firstly, what is pruning? Pruning is the selective removal of the stems of a plant.
As with all agricultural plants, Maximilian sunflower pruning is necessary to encourage the growth of the plant in the desired direction and distribute nutrients evenly throughout the plant.
To achieve this purpose, gardeners must know the basics of pruning: when, how, and what.
This article is for gardeners who need guidance on how to carry out Maximilian sunflower pruning. It answers the why, when, how, and what questions of Maximilian sunflower pruning.
When to do Your Maximilian Sunflower Pruning
1. When dead, diseased, or damaged leaves are observed
Carry out Maximilian sunflower pruning when you notice dead, diseased, or damaged leaves on your Maximilian sunflower plant.
A good gardener is an observant one. Allowing dead or damaged leaves to stay on your Maximilian sunflower will hinder the robust growth of the plant.
The dead, diseased, or damaged plants would not benefit from the nutrients transported around the plant.
Removing dead stems will also increase the light and ventilation of the plant and help it grow.
Also, diseased leaves will, in no time, infect others, and the whole plant will be damaged if Maximilian sunflower pruning is not done early.
2. When Flowers Begin To Fade.
Maximilian sunflower pruning can be done when the flowers are spent and are fading. This will encourage the growth of more beautiful blossoms throughout the flowering season.
Since the plants are perennials, there would be no shortage of flowers. This way, you can enjoy seeing more flowers until the beginning of fall.
3. When The Plant Has Finished Blooming
Generally, the flowers of plants stop blooming in the fall, and their leaves begin to fall off in preparation for winter. By pruning, you can get rid of faded flower blooms and clean up your garden. You could also do this in the late winter.
4. To Enjoy The Flowers Indoors
It would be a sin to have beautiful flowers in bloom and not put some in the rooms in your home, wouldn’t it? This is another reason for Maximilian sunflower pruning. By cutting those flowers to beautify your home, you also allow the plant to develop more flowers.
5. When You Desire More Production Of Leaves
Some gardeners want to see more leaves blossom than flowers. If this is what you desire, then it’s time for your Maximilian sunflower pruning, where you will take off unopened flower buds.
Now that you know when to carry out Maximilian sunflower pruning, how do you prune the sunflowers?
How to Perform Maximilian Sunflower Pruning
The first step to Maximilian sunflower pruning is to get the equipment necessary for pruning, which is a sharp and sterile pair of pruning shears.
Sharp because you want it cut quickly and precisely, and sterile because you do not want to transfer disease-causing organisms onto your plant.
You can sterilize your pruning shears using a knife to scrape off dirt stuck to them and soap and water to wash them thoroughly. If you have already done this before storing the pruning shears (as every gardener should), then you just sharpen them and clean them off before use.
If you are new to gardening, you might need to learn what a pruning shear is. A pruning shear is a type of scissors used to cut the stem of plants.
To Remove Dead, Damaged, and Decaying Leaves
Step One: Locate Unwanted Leaves
These unwanted leaves might be the diseased, damaged, or dead leaves of the Maximilian sunflower. After identifying these leaves, follow their stem to the stalk. The stalk is the part that attaches the leaves and branches to the stem.
Step Two: Cut The Stem Of The Unwanted Parts
Once you’ve been able to identify the stalk of the unwanted leaves, take your pruning shears, clip the stalk you want, and cut it. You are to cut the stems at the soil line and completely remove them.
TO PREVENT IT FROM FLOWERING
This should be done if you aim to prevent the flowers from blooming to allow for more growth of the leaves.
Step One: Locate Unopened Flower Buds
Look for any flower bud that is developing on the plant. From the ones that are just budding to the ones that are ripe and about to open,
Step Two: Remove The Flower Buds
Use the pruning shears to clip off the flower buds you have located. Cut it just below the flower head.
TO CLEAN UP YOUR GARDEN
This should be carried out when the flowers have begun to fade, or in late winter or early spring. It helps to keep your garden looking clean and at its best.
Step One: Locate The Faded Blossoms
Identify the parts of the plant to be trimmed. Look for those whose flowers have faded.
Step Two: Remove The Unwanted Parts
To do this, you just trim off the stems of the plant that have the spent flowers and blooms using the pruning shears. This is called deadheading. You should cut off the flower stems just below the spent flowers.
Now that we know how to perform Maximilian sunflower pruning, we will consider what to do after Maximilian sunflower pruning.
What to do after Maximilian Sunflower Pruning
1. Clean up
Pack all the pruned leaves, flowers, and stems away and discard them properly.
2. Dispose of diseased parts separately
Don’t dispose of diseased parts with the others. Take them to a separate spot, far from your healthy plants.
3. Avoid touching the wound
The wound refers to the marks on the plant after pruning. Don’t touch them to prevent fungus from infecting your plant through the wounds.
This article sets out to inform and guide you on how to carry out Maximilian sunflower pruning. Following the instructions carefully would give you your desired results: a pruned, healthy Maximilian sunflower plant.