Flowers require continuous pruning to promote future blooming cycles and to keep the garden looking beautiful. Manicure tools used for flowers include a variety of hand-held implements designed for trimming plants. Certain types of tools work better for different types of plants and allow gardeners to give flowers and foliage regular haircuts to groom the garden.
Scissors shears resemble household shears but differ in the strength of the cutting blade. Thick blades characterize these shears, which feature two sharp edges designed to cut the thinnest stems. Handles feature molded grips to make cutting work easier. Scissors shears are not designed to cut stems or foliage larger than 1/4 inch thick.
Anvil pruning shears feature a sharp blade on the top of the tool that meets a flat plate. The blade closes to make a cut by pressing tightly against the flat anvil blade. Use anvil shears for trimming coarse foliage or stems between 1/2 and 1 inch in diameter. The anvil motion of these shears will crush stems, so the top blade must always be sharp.
The most common type of manicure tool for flowers is bypass shears. This type of shear features a top and bottom blade that curve to a slight hooked shape. The blades slide past each other to make cuts in a similar fashion to scissors. The main difference lies in the bypass shears' ability to make a decisive, clean cut to limit damage to the plant. Use bypass shears to deadhead flowers, cut stems and prune foliage up to 1 inch in diameter.
Pruning loppers resemble bypass shears with long handles. This type of shears is designed to snip wider flower stems with a nice, clean cut. The long handles provide leverage when cutting through larger branches.
Hedge shears make quick work of a large flowering plant requiring grooming to remove spent blooms. Hedge shears feature long, scissor-like blades that slide past each other to make pruning cuts. These tools feature long handles and a design to allow for flat cutting by pressing the handles together.
As silly as it may sound, one of the very best tools for maintaining flowers is your own fingers. Plants require constant attention in the form of deadheading to remove dead blooms. This method of removal allows the plant to concentrate energy on producing foliage and flowers instead of seed. You've got a ready-made set of anvil pruning shear in your own hands. Deadhead flowers by holding the flower stem with the pad of your thumb and forefinger right behind the bloom. Press your pointer fingernail into the plant stem to pop off the flower.