Regular maintenance on your green facade project is necessary to keep the plant material healthy and vigorous. We at greenscreen® recommend that all plant material receive, at a minimum, one pruning application per year. Monthly or additional prunings may be necessary with vigorous plants and depending on whether you like a “sheared” look or a “loose” look on your green facade. There are more maintenance considerations including mulching, fertilization and irrigation checks, but pruning is one of the most important tasks that you do. For more information on green facade maintenance, visit the PLANTS page to download a copy of the greenscreen® Guidelines For Green Facade Maintenance.
So, how do you correctly prune your green facades? Glad that you asked and we recruited our resident maintenance ninja, Dean Hill, ASLA, to help demonstrate how easy pruning can be. Dean took us through the pruning steps on some wall mounted panels at greenscreen® headquarters.
2 individual panels are 3′ wide x 12′ tall and attached to the wall with our 5132G engineered gusseted clip. Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and Alice DuPont Mandevilla (Mandevilla x amabilis ‘Alice DuPont’) are planted in a galvanized trough at the base of the panels and while these are ideal great twining vines for a wall mounted installation, they needed a little attention. All that Dean needed to complete the pruning application were bypass pruners, a 12′ ladder and a broom. Starting at the bottom of the planter, he began to weave the longer tendrils back into the panel to make sure that the plant was using the “captive growing space” of the three dimensional trellis panels. Working towards the top of the panels, all of the long growth was incorporated back into the panel.
After all of the tendrils were woven back into the panel and using the outside edge of the panel as a template, Dean began using the pruners to remove any plant material that had grown over the top and edges of the panel. Carolina Jessamine and Mandevilla are considered herbaceous perennials with no thick, woody stems and this makes them very easy to cut with the pruners. Working around the entire perimeter of the panels and making sure not to cut the wire of the decorative pepper lights, all of the overgrown tendrils were removed.
After completing the pruning on the perimeter of the panels, Dean reached behind the panels to prune away any growth that was touching the wall or growing on the clips.
The finishing touches were to remove any plant material at the base of the plant to make sure that no growth was cascading over the front of the planter and to remove any growth that could not be re-directed back onto the panels.
After a little bit of clean up to make sure that all of the clippings were put in the compost bin, the pruning was complete! Pretty easy, right? Your project may be a little (or a lot) larger, but the pruning concepts are still the same. The most important thing to remember is that your plants are a “living” part of the greenscreen® system and will require some TLC. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or email Dean directly at Dean@greenscreen.com and don’t forget to turn the party lights on!