Plants to be ‘cautious’ pruning now or risk reducing next year’s bloom

Plants to be ‘cautious’ pruning now or risk reducing next year’s bloom


Carol Klein explains the importance of judicious pruning

Luke Bartle, head gardener at Trentham Gardens, said: “Pruning is all about understanding the plant you need to prune.

“Understanding the flowering habits will then indicate how and when to prune. You need to avoid removing any potential growth that will inevitably flower later on.

“In August, you need to avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs, as these make next year’s flowers on the summer’s growth.

“If you prune during the month, you are removing this potential. Pruning for this should be done immediately after flowering.”

The expert said this will allow for the development of young growth in the summer that will flower next spring.

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He added: “Pruning climbing and rambling roses in August will reduce the potential for a second bloom.

“August pruning can be done to help shape or train shrubs, climbers, trees or to allow better circulation, and encourage ripening.”

When pruning this month, make sure the weather isn’t too hot because this can cause stress for the plant.

Georgina O’Grady, managing director at Evergreen Direct, added: “In August, it’s generally a good idea to avoid heavy pruning for plants that are able to enter their dormant or winter preparation phase.

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“This is especially true for plants that bloom on old wood, which will be interfering with next year’s blooms.”

While not all plants follow the same pruning schedule and regional climate differences can play a role, the expert recommended being “cautious” when pruning some plants in the summer.

Georgina explained: “Be cautious when pruning lilacs. These shrubs produce blooms in spring from buds formed on the previous year’s growth.

“Pruning them in August could result in cutting off next year’s flower buds. Certain types of hydrangeas, like mophead and lace cap varieties, also bloom on old wood.

“If you prune them too late in the season, you might remove the buds that would produce flowers next year.”

Britons also shouldn’t prune forsythia or viburnums or they may risk reducing next year’s blooming potential.

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