Gardening Magazine

Pruning Early Flowering Shrubs

By Alip @alisonpikeGD

Now is the time to get out and prune those shrubs which have flowered their socks off whilst most other plants have had the sense to be dormant or hiding under the soil.  Forsythia, Lonicera fragrantissima (winter flowering honeysuckle) and Ribes (flowering currant) are all examples of shrubs that will be needing your attention now.  They flower on the previous years growth,  so you prune them as soon as they have finished flowering giving them sufficient time to develop new growth that will bare flowers next year.

Below is the before and after of a Forsythia bush that hasn’t had a thorough prune for a little while.  The usual rules apply….. firstly remove crossing branches and any dead or dying wood.  Next remove approximately a quarter to a third of the oldest branches cutting them down to ground level and lastly cut back the remaining flowered growth to a strong shoot.

Pruning early flowering shrubs
Pruning early flowering shrubs


I know the finished product is not exactly a thing of great beauty but give it time, it will soon be clothed in leaves and next year will smothered in yellow flowers!

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