Pruning involves the selective removal of branches or stems with the goal of improving the structure of a plant or shrub. It can also help prevent insect and animal infestations and promotes natural shaping and healthy growth. However, if gardeners prune the plant incorrectly, or prune too much, the plant can suffer.
Depending on what plants and trees are in the garden, pruning can be done throughout the year. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the best time to prune is after flowering.
The gardening experts at Sutton Manor Nursery explained: “With all the overgrown shrubs from the past months, it is understandable that you are keen to get your shrubs into shape. However, you shouldn’t overdo it. If done too aggressively, it can permanently damage a plant and stunt its growth and make it more susceptible to diseases.
Pruning can benefit trees, shrubs and plants by encouraging growth. However, it is important that gardeners do this while the plant is in a dormant state, which will vary depending on the plant chosen.
Pruning many plants in the garden when they are actively growing can potentially “starve” them out. The experts said: “Pruning is only cutting off the leaves and leaves are what a plant needs to make food. Therefore, pruning your plant too much means it cannot make food.”
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When removing selected branches or stems, make sure you cut at an angle to ensure that you are pruning correctly. This is so that water cannot accumulate and promote disease on the twigs or twigs.
Many gardeners opt to introduce winter flowering shrubs to their garden for a pop of color during the gloomy months of the year. There are many shrubs that do great in the colder months, including winter honeysuckle, pansies and snowdrops.
Pruning is absolutely necessary to encourage healthy growth and rejuvenate shrubs and plants, and according to one expert, pruning may not be harmful at all.
Eleni Veroutos, horticulturist at BackyardBoss, explained: “One of the most common mistakes people make is not pruning their plants. Although it may seem like extra work, pruning is necessary to ensure that your plants are healthy and grow properly.
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However, when pruning, it is important not to over-prune as this can kill your plants. Alleyne said: “Like no pruning at all, over-pruning can be bad. One of the biggest dangers of excessive pruning is that it can encourage excessive growth.
“It may not seem like a bad thing at first, but it can quickly spiral out of control.” It’s also fairly easy to tell if you’ve over-pruned a plant. Signs include a plant or shrub that looks stressed or damaged as well as seeing an amount of new growth.
According to expert, if you see lots of new shoots and leaves, chances are you have pruned too much.
The pro said: “If you find you are over-pruning, the best thing to do is stop pruning for a while and see how the plant reacts.
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“If it starts to heal, you were probably doing too much. If not, you may be making another common gardening mistake.”
Leading hedging and plant supplier, Hedges Direct shares how gardeners can prune their winter flowering shrubs. The experts said: “If we first consider the growth cycle of winter flowering shrubs, it helps us to understand why it is so important to prune them at the right time.
“Winter flowering shrubs and hedges usually display attractive flowers that last fine through the colder months and then sprout new green growth when spring arrives, forming flower buds that will bloom the following winter.
“As a general rule of thumb, winter flowering shrubs should be pruned after flowering but before they begin to bud (usually in late winter), because the spring growth that immediately follows, It will help in quick healing of wounds.
Berberis thunbergii, also known as Japanese barberry, are popular among gardeners because they are slow growing and offer gorgeous variegated colors.
Available in pots all year round, horticulturists said that those who have this shrub need to prune it immediately before winter buds form.
He said: “These flower buds begin to form in early spring to mature and when they emerge form a hard shell to protect them from the harsh winter weather.
“Because of this process, these shrubs need to be pruned soon after flowering before the buds for the next winter are formed. Waiting until summer or autumn to prune can result in loss of forming flower buds, resulting in no winter flowers.
When it comes to pruning evergreen winter flowering shrubs, the expert said the “best time” to prune is in early spring, after the worst of the weather has passed. Pruning any shrub or plant should also reduce the potential for frost damage.