The time for pruning flowering shrubs depends on their season of blooming, and whether the bloom is produced on the old or the new wood. Those shrubs which bear their flowers on the current year’s shoots, may be cut hard back, say to within 2 in. of the old wood, any time from October to the end of February. Shrubs which flower on the shoots made during the previous summer, should be pruned immediately after flowering. This is most important, so as to enable the plants to produce their new shoots as soon as possible, and for the wood to ripen well before the advent of winter. On this newly-formed wood the flowers will be produced the following year.
Pruning Evergreen Shrubs
Generally speaking, the only pruning necessary in the case of evergreen shrubs is the trimming of any straggling shoots, and the removal of some of the branches to avoid overcrowding. This work is best done in April.
How to Prune
The object of pruning flowering shrubs is to let in the light and air to enable the wood to ripen properly. Keep the centre open. A sharp pruning knife should be used or, better still, some of the new secateurs with knife-like cut. A clean cut is important. Begin the cut on the opposite side of the bud to be pruned to, and finish just above the tip of the bud.
When flowering shrubs make too much growth at the expense of the bloom, the plants may be taken up, and the roots shortened. In the case of large shrubs, a trench may be dug round the shrub and the roots pruned without the actual removal of the plant. Ram thein well after it has been replaced. Firm planting is most important.