That is something my dad always says and usually it’s a good rule to follow. Many plants respond well to thoughtful pruning. With careful pruning you have the ability to shape the growth of the plant and give it time to establish roots when newly installed. If you have been gardening for a while, you know there are some plants you cannot hurt with a good cutting—catmint, or nepeta, being one! The plants did look rather fine when they were delivered to the gardens, but after sitting in the sun in their pots all day, then having me position and reposition them a few times to get my design finalized, and then being lifted from their pots for planting, they looked a bit tuckered out. I have only 15 of these, so it was not a chore to take some time and carefully cut back each stem to the next sets of leaves. When I was done the plants looked bushier and perkier than before.
When you plant, the question is to prune or not to prune? I like to prune whenever possible to allow the plant to focus on establishing roots in its new location. I start by selecting plants that are not blooming at the nursery. Why waste blooms at the shop? I want those lovelies to be brightening up my garden!
If I cannot find plants in bud or pre-bud conditions, I always prune.
Note: Some plants will not bloom after pruning, so take some time to read your reference books to see which will and will not respond well to installation pruning. Plants that do respond well include: