Gardening experts have warned Britons to be careful with important tasks such as pruning as minor mistakes can have “disastrous consequences”. Although not much pruning is done during the winter months, most plants and shrubs prefer to be pruned when they are not in active growth, which usually falls in winter.
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.
“You shouldn’t overdo it though. If done too aggressively, it can permanently damage a plant and stunt its growth and make it more susceptible to diseases.”
Pruning can have many benefits for the plant such as encouraging growth and preventing it from becoming too large, but it is important to do this work when it is dormant.
Cutting down trees, plants and shrubs when it is in active growth can potentially starve it and harm it.
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Eleni Veroutos, horticulturist at BackyardBoss, said: “One of the most common mistakes people make is not pruning their plants at all.
“While it may seem like extra work, pruning is essential to ensure that your plants are healthy and grow properly.”
Not pruning plants at all can lead to overgrowth, which can result in plants becoming unmanageable and taking over the garden.
If you don’t prune your plants, they may not bloom as well as they should. This is because the plants produce flowers on new growth, which encourages pruning.
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However, gardeners should be aware that they can also do excessive pruning which can kill plants, shrubs or even trees.
The expert said: “Like not 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.”
If your plant looks stressed or damaged during or after pruning, it may be because you’re doing too much.
Gardening Pro said: “Another way to find out is the amount of new growth. If you see lots of new shoots and leaves, chances are you are over-pruning.
“If you find you are over-pruning, the best thing to do is stop pruning for a while and see how the plant reacts.
“If it starts to heal, you were probably doing too much. If not, you may be making another common gardening mistake.”
Be sure to take it slow when pruning, carefully selecting branches or stems before shearing the plant or shrub.