Pruning is to take away development from a plant to maintain the plant to have a healthier environment. This is effective in controlling the size and shape of the plant and also to manipulate its flowering and/or fruiting. In this article, we will focus more on how to prune dianthus. There are in fact several methods on pruning dianthus and other perennials concentrating on how the basics and how to take care of them really. The methods of pruning that I will discuss here are deadheading, cutting back, pinching and disbudding.
Deadheading means that you would remove the old plants for new ones to grow. Old plants may tend to produce seeds which require a lot of energy so cutting it before seed production may support root growth which may then promote to a sturdier and healthier plant. This method rather depends on the species of the plant and its growth pattern. Be sure to remove dead plants, buds or even leaves.
Now for the next one; cutting back means you would cut the plant to renew its appearance and to promote new flowering and growth. You can then control the flowering time and the tallness of the plant. You should also cut plants back after flowering. Buds, seeds and flowers could be trimmed as well during the pruning process. As a rule, there should be an approximately 2 inches left of the stem when you decided to cut from the ground. The plant should be then properly watered and be sure that the environment is ventilated.
Pinching is somehow similar to cutting back. The only difference is that in pinching; only a small amount or portion of the plant is cut. Only the first set of leaves and growing tips are removed from the plant. This will support good growth for the plant. You should pinch the stem above the node. This is usually done during May or June.
Lastly, disbudding focuses more on removing the terminal or side buds of the plant. Removing the side bud will help the plant to make more flowers. However, these flowers are smaller but they are more numerous than if there are buds in the plant. On the other hand, removing the side buds will promote bigger flowers on the long stem. This is usually done before the buds get too big unless you want to scar your plant.
These are the most basic of pruning dianthuses and other plants. There are more methods out there to try but the basic includes the above.