Ivydene Gardens Plants:
Plant Pruning

Pruning of
Woody Plants in Groups 1 - 13 and Herbaceous Perennials in Group 14 with Ferns in Group 15 and Evergreen Perennials in Group 16.


The aim of formative pruning of a new plant is to produce a balanced framework of sturdy, well-spaced branches that permit maximum light and air to reach the entire plant. Most evergreen trees and shrubs require little formative pruning, but may need light shaping after planting (plant in Autumn) in Spring, to ensure balanced growth. Formative pruning of deciduous trees/shrubs should be carried out in the dormant season (most deciduous trees/shrubs have lost their leaves by January and do not grow new ones before March), either at or soon after planting in the Autumn. If a young shrub does not have a balanced framework, cut off the sideshoots of the main stems, then select 4 or 5 of the strongest, most evenly spaced main stems from the resulting growth to form the new framework, and cut out the rest. Some plants from pruning group 1 need only minimal pruning; these include slow-growing shrubs with an intricate, ornamental branch structure whose appearance is easily spoiled by cutting back.

Some old or overgrown shrubs - such as those that produce new shoots from the base or from old wood - may be rejuvenated by hard pruning. Renovate deciduous shrubs after flowering or when dormant in January, and evergreen shrubs in mid-Spring. Cut back up to one-third of the oldest stems close to the base. Of those that remain, cut out the weak or dead wood, then rubbing, crossing or congested stems and finally shorten the oldest by half to strong buds. Repeat the following year, cutting back the remaining old main stems.

For pruning of plants after their first year from planting in your garden; begin by removing dead, damaged or diseased wood, and then crossing shoots. If the 'normal' branch is horizontal, then cut out the vertical crossing branch. If the 'normal branch is vertical, then cut out the horizontal crossing branch. Remember to see whether the crossing branch you take out will affect the overall shape of the plant less than the other one - to make sure that you do not destroy the 'normal' shape of the plant. Then follow the respective pruning action for the Pruning Group for that plant in the following table:-

Pruning Group Number

Type of Plant

Pruning Action

When

1. e.g. Acer palmatum

Evergreen and deciduous trees/shrubs that flower on previous or current year's growth and need minimal pruning

Remove crossing shoots to maintain framework.

In late winter or early Spring, when dormant; some in late summer or early autumn to prevent sap bleeding.

2. e.g. Forsythia

Deciduous Shrubs that flower in Spring or early Summer on previous year's growth

Cut back flowered shoots to strong buds or young lower or basal growth. On established plants, cut back about 1/4 of old shoots to the base, to promote replacement growth.

Annually, after flowering.

3. e.g. Kerria

Deciduous shrubs that flower in Spring or early Summer on previous year's growth, and produce new growth at or near ground level.

Cut back flowered shoots to young sideshoots or to strong buds low down on branch framework, to encourage new growth.

Annually, after flowering

4. e.g. Hydrangea macrophylla

Deciduous shrubs that flower in mid to late Summer or Autumn on previous year's growth.

Trim off last season's flowerheads to the first bud beneath each flowerhead. With established plants, cut back about 1/4 of old shoots to the base, to promote replacement growth.

Annually, from early to mid-Spring.

5. e.g. Prunus triloba

Deciduous shrubs that flower between late Winter and early Spring on previous year's growth.

Cut back all stems to strong buds or to developing shoots close to the base of the plant, to promote replacement growth.

Annually, after flowering

6. e.g. Buddleja davidii

Deciduous shrubs that flower in mid to late Summer or Autumn on current year's growth.

Cut back to low permanent framework. For Sub-Shrubs, and for drastic renovation, cut back all flowered stems close to the base.

Annually, as buds begin to swell in early spring.

7. e.g. Cornus alba

Deciduous trees and shrubs that, when pruned hard, produce colourful winter stems, or large or brightly hued foliage, as ornamental features. Plants that flower on previous year's wood do not bloom if pruned this way.

Cut back all stems to within 2 or 3 buds of the base, or to the permanent framework. Feed or apply well-rotted farmyard manure, and mulch to compensate for loss of wood.

Annually, in early Spring.

8. e.g. Camellia, Rhododendron

Evergreen shrubs that flower between Winter and early Summer on previous or current year's growth, and need minimal pruning.

Trim or lightly cut back shoots that spoil symmetry. Dead-head regularly if practical (unless fruit is required).

Annually, after flowering. Remove dead and damaged growth in mid-Spring.

9. e.g. Eucryphia

Evergreen shrubs that flower between mid-Summer and late Autumn on previous or current year's growth, or that bear insignificant flowers, and that need minimal pruning.

Trim or lightly cut back shoots that spoil symmetry. Shrubs grown for foliage often tolerate harder pruning. Dead-head regularly if practical (unless fruit is required).

Annually, or as necessary, from mid to late Spring.

10. e.g. Calluna, Erica, Lavandula

Evergreen shrubs that flower on previous year's growth in Spring or early Summer, or on current year's growth in late Summer or Autumn. (Tree heathers require only minimal pruning).

Cut back flowered shoots to within 1" (2.5cm) of previous year's growth.

Annually:

  • after flowering, if flowering on previous year's growth.
  • in early or mid-Spring, if flowering on current year's growth.

11. e.g. Akebia, Clematis montana

Vigorous, deciduous and evergreen climbers that flower on previous or current year's growth, and need no regular pruning.

Trim to fit available space; carry out renovation pruning as needed

Annually, or as needed:

  • after flowering, if flowering on previous year's growth.
  • in late Winter or early Spring, if flowering on current year's growth.

12. e.g. Solanum crispum

Less vigourous, deciduous and evergreen climbers that flower on previous or current year's growth.

"Spur prune" by cutting back side-shoots to within 4 buds of it's main stem. Thin out overcrowded shoots.

Annually:

  • after flowering, if flowering on previous year's growth.
  • in late Winter or early Spring, if flowering on current year's growth.

13. e.g. Ceanothus

Wall trained, deciduous and evergreen shrubs that flower on previous or current year's growth.

Cut back flowered shoots to within 4 buds of permanent framework. Trim outward-facing shoots and those growing towards the wall.

Annually:

  • after flowering, if flowering on previous year's growth.
  • in late Winter or early Spring, if flowering on current year's growth.

14. e.g.

Herbaceous perennials.

Apply top dressing of bone meal.

The plants produce vigorous shoots. When the plant is one-third of its final height, pinch out the weak shoots.

Cut shoots down to the base, and remove dead and faded growth and weeds. Divide perennials every 4 years to maintain vigour and replant the divided portions elsewhere in the garden. To appreciate grasses and other plants during the Winter, delay cutting and mulching until early Spring. Apply a 4 inch deep mulch of organic matter such as Spent Mushroom Compost or Bark.

Apply bone meal in early Spring after rain.

Each Spring

 

 

Every Autumn

15. e.g.

Ferns

Remove old fronds. Divide every 4 years to maintain vigour. Apply top dressing of bone meal and apply a 4 inch deep mulch of organic matter such as Spent Mushroom Compost or Bark.

Each Spring

16. e.g.

Evergreen perennials

Apply top dressing of bone meal.

Remove dead and faded growth and weeds. Divide perennials every 4 years to maintain vigour and replant the divided portions elsewhere in the garden. To appreciate grasses and other plants during the Winter, delay cutting and mulching until early Spring. Apply a 4 inch deep mulch of organic matter such as Spent Mushroom Compost or Bark.

Apply bone meal in early Spring after rain.
Every Autumn

17. e.g. Bamboo

 

 

 

 

Height in inches (cms):-

25.4mm = 1 inch
304.8mm = 12 inches
12 inches = 1 foot
3 feet = 1 yard
914.4mm = 1 yard

I normally round this to
25mm = 1 inch
300mm = 30 cms = 12 inches =1 foot,
900 mm = 3 feet = 1 yard and
1000mm = 100 cms = 1 metre = 40 inches

Site design and content copyright ©December 2006. Page structure changed September 2012. Height x Spread in feet changed to Height x Spread in inches (cms) June 2015. Chris Garnons-Williams.

DISCLAIMER: Links to external sites are provided as a courtesy to visitors. Ivydene Horticultural Services are not responsible for the content and/or quality of external web sites linked from this site.  

 

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REFINING SELECTION
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PRUNING
Plant Selection by Pruning Requirements
Level 4
Pruning Plants

 


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To locate mail-order nursery for plants from the UK in this gallery try using search in RHS Find a Plant.

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To locate mail-order nursery for plants from America in this gallery try using search in Plant Lust.

To locate plant information in Australia try using Plant Finder in Gardening Australia.

There are other pages on Plants which bloom in each month of the year in this website:-