Herb Trimming: When And How To Prune?


The best part about growing a herb garden at home are the flavours that await you – but is there a secret to herb trimming and pruning to make the most of them?

Apart from providing a new lease on life to many tried and true dishes in your kitchen, having a herb garden in your home can also attract pollinators and provide benefits to all of the other shrubs and flowers that reside there. The good news is that many are quite hardy, and are happy to grow in smaller containers (think pots or even on a windowsill) – so you don’t need the large amount of space that other plants may require. 

Why You Should Start Pruning And Herb Trimming

Like many other plants, the flora that resides in your herb garden often don’t just “grow like crazy” without a little assistance. While it can at times feel counterproductive, pruning your herb garden regularly is also one of the easiest (and free) methods to encourage a healthy herb patch. In fact, herb trimming or pruning can encourage your plants to:

  • Promote abundant new leaf growth 
  • Avoid flowering and seeding 
  • Promote air circulation and save on space
  • Keep your plants in shape and compact if required 
  • Provide you with trimmings that can be used for propagation 

The general rule of thumb is that if you’re able to prune early and prune often, then you will usually be rewarded with strong, lucious plants that provide new herb and leaf growth for you to use at home in your kitchen, and stop the plants from “dying off” after flowering – so where do you start?

How To Start Herb Trimming 

While there are a few different methods when it comes to effective pruning in your herb garden, here are a few of the more tried and true ways to promote new growth. 

Know Your Plants – Broadly speaking, there’s two types of herbs: evergreen and herbaceous, with the latter usually wilting in winter. Evergreen varieties include rosemary, thyme and sage, and usually only require pruning around once a year in autumn or spring. Herbaceous varieties such as oregano, chives and mint aren’t fond of frost, so you can be a little more liberal with your herb trimming. A word of warning, mint is best kept in a pot as it can become a garden escapee quickly!

Use The Right Tools – Hardcore or heavy duty garden shears are usually not needed for herbs, unless they are very old woody varieties (such as a well established or large rosemary bush). In fact, you’re able to simply use your fingers for many smaller varieties of herbs, particularly the leafy ones. With scissors or fingers, simply pinch and twist (not rip or tear) around an inch from the tip of the stem near the top of the plant in order to promote new growth. 

Start From The Top – Although it may seem counter-intuitive, start pruning from the top of your herb instead of the bottom, as the latter has bigger leaves that acts as a base for the plant. These offer additional protection for your herb, along with the larger leaves acting as “solar panels” to absorb the sun without damaging it’s core. By trimming from the top, it’s also going to encourage your plant to grow skywards, and ultimately become bigger and stronger. 

Promote Healthy Soil – Most avid gardeners aim to do everything they physically can to give their leafy friends their best shot at success, and that usually starts long before the plant goes into the ground. Ensuring that your soil is healthy with all of the required nutrients and microbes can be achieved by adding an organic plant probiotic like Biotic Booster before you add your plants into an outdoor garden bed. 

Want To Know More About Herb Trimming And Gardening At Home?

Whether you’re on the hunt for more tips with how to start gardening more efficiently at home, or further insights regarding an alternative for chemical based plant food, fertilisers or weed killers – then it’s always worth speaking to the professionals. 

Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your home, garden or agricultural crop, get in touch with us today.