How to Prune




Pruning any plant is quite simple. There are those who will make it sound really skilled and complicated, but as long as you follow a few basic rules you should not have too much trouble. Your objective is to allow the plant to heal up as soon as possible and to grow the way you want it to in the future.


It is most important to use a sharp blade to cut the wood so that there are no split or ragged ends. The cut should be just above a bud so that the growth can continue from it, leaving only a small bit of die back. If you leave too much stem past a bud it will die back to the bud leaving a length of dead wood which could become diseased. If you cut too close to the bud it may be damaged and die back to the bud below that.


The next thing to consider is which bud to cut back to. There are two considerations firstly decide how much you want to cut off the plant, then find the nearest bud pointing in the direction that you want future growth, and cut just above it.


That’s the theory. I expect you are asking yourselves ‘What about when I use a hedge trimmer?’ Well with a hedge trimmer you are picking a shape for the hedge and cutting back to it no matter where the nearest bud is and which direction it is pointing. It seems to work fine. I did warn you that some people will make it sound very complicated.


There was an interesting trial a few years back. Two identical beds of roses were pruned back in the autumn. One was carefully pruned with secateurs just past an outward facing bud and the other bed was sliced off with a hedge trimmer. Which gave the best display next year? The one done with the hedge trimmer.


The important bit is: Use sharp blade and keep your fingers away from it.






Don Morgan,  Morgans Nursery

Stonehouse Lane, Bulkeley

Nr. Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8BQ

Tel: 01829 720514.

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