Pruning Spring-flowering Shrubs

Date

Forsythia

Now that Spring-flowering shrubs have finished their impressive display for the year, it is time to prune them to ensure another great display next time.

We’ve chosen Forsythia for our practical demonstration, but the principals will be the same for all Spring-flowering shrubs, so you can make sure you get it right!

First you need to identify the difference between the young growth and older growth. In Forsythia, the older growth will be firmer and covered in grey scales, while the younger growth is cleaner and more flexible – you can clearly see the difference in the young growth (on the left) and older growth (on the right) in the pictures below.

New-Growth Old-Growth

Once you have identified where the wood transitions between old and young, you’ll need to cut to the pair of buds at the ‘transition point’ using a pair of sharp secateurs, as demonstrated in the picture below.

PruningThe older growth is where next year’s flowers will be produced, so you should never cut back into it unless you want to remove straggly stems which are spoiling the overall shape of your shrub.

Work your way around the plant, carefully cutting back the stems as described above until you have finished – and then your Forsythia will be ready for another dazzling display next year!

If you need pruning tools and/or some friendly, expert advice then visit us in-store – and prepare to get pruning!

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