Now that spring has well and truly sprung, it is time to consider some appropriate pruning for this time of year. To help you get the most out of your garden plants, we offer you some useful advice to maximise your plant’s flowering potential.
If you know the vigour of the plants in your garden then try adopting the following for your fast and slow growing plants:
• Fast-growing plants that put on more than 30cm (12in) growth in a year respond well to hard pruning.
• Slow-growing plants usually do not respond well to being pruned back hard, so avoid it unless absolutely necessary.
More specifically, you should now be pruning your spring-flowering and late-summer flowering plants to achieve maximum visual impact.
• Spring-flowering plants should be pruned after they have finished flowering and before they start to put on new growth. This is because the flowers grow from buds on the previous year’s growth.
• Late summer-flowering plants produce flowers on growth made in the current growing season. Early spring is the best time to prune them, because it diverts the plant’s energy to existing buds and gives it time to produce new flowering shoots from the buds. Prune before growth starts and aim to form a base of strong, woody stems from which spring-flowering shoots will grow each year.
Once done, you can sit back and relax, as your early summer-flowering outdoor plants don’t need pruning until late summer, once their flowers have finished.