Tips and advice on early spring pruning – part two
It’s time to have some fun with your loppers and secateurs.
Some plants really benefit from being pruned now but for others its bad news. So there is pruning fun to be had but make sure it’s with the right plants!
If shrubs are in good order then most pruning will be designed to promote flowering.
In order to know when a particular plant is best pruned, we need to know when it flowers so that we can work out what sort of growth the plant flowers on for example plants that flower late in the year mostly flower on the growth they have made that year. So the greater the growth the more flowers.
Early pruning will promote growth and so, also, lots of flower. Examples of shrubs that this applies to include the large flowered Buddleia, the Blue Spirea or Caryopteris, late flowering Spirea and the like. These therefore may well be in need of pruning now and most can be hard pruned which will promote fresh growth and so lots of flowers.
Shrubs that flower in the early summer or in the spring are flowering on growth that was formed in the previous year and also wood that is one, three or four years old.
This includes shrubs such as Weigela, Deutzia, Forsythia, Philadelphus and Ribes the flowering currant. With this group wait until flowering has finished and then select, say, a quarter of the oldest stems on an established plant and prune these right down to the base.
This will encourage new growth that will start to flower the following year. In this method the shrub is completely renewed every four years or so and lots of flowers should be the result.