Important Tips on Pruning Plants

To keep your plants in shape, regular pruning is required whether your plants are grown inside or outside. Be careful though, over-pruning can be hazardous so it’s extremely important to know which plants to prune, when to prune and how. It is best to prune fruiting and flowering plants whilst they are not in bloom, however other plants such as shrubs and trees which blossom in the spring time, require the old buds to be pruned in order to blossom new ones. Some plants need pruning all year round, so it can be a little perplexing at first, just keep in mind that the worst case scenario is that your plant or plants may generate a reduced amount of fruits and flowers.

Pruning Tools

pruning toolsPruning can feel like a daunting task if you are a beginner gardener. To make the process easier, make sure that you possess the correct equipment. Here is a list of basic tools that will aid any gardener make their garden look its best.

  • Loppers – long handles with short sturdy blades – used for pruning thick branches that are hard to reach
  • Saw – needed for thick branches (6 inches+)
  • Shears – appear to be heavy duty scissors – useful for trimming branches and leaves that are not so thick
  • Hand Pruners – short thick blades – helpful for cutting thinner branches and stems (up to 1 inch)


It is more practical to have all these basic tools on hand prior to commencing pruning and the better the quality the better the job they will do and the longer they will last. It is imperative to ensure all tools are cleaned properly after each use as some soil can be full of plant diseases and you really don’t want to transfer them onto other plants.

Flowering Trees, Shrubs and Vines

These three very different plant categories need pruning at all different times throughout the year.

 Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Flowering trees and shrubs normally blossom should be pruned mid-autumn as they bloom in spring. They can be pruned earlier if they have grown predominantly large but beware, you do not want to lose too many blooms in the process.


Clematis blooms on its own timetable, but generally it is best to prune them back after they have completed blossoming. This will ensure that they have room to continue growing for the next bloom. To guarantee a long life, vines need appropriate pruning, so it’s vital to pay close attention to the state of the Clematis.


Roses are one of the easiest to grow and prune. The type of rose plant and the climate are two major factors here, but it is mainly completed in the spring.


Closely monitoring the hydrangeas is the best way to determine whether they need pruning or not.  They can be a quite intricate to prune and need trimming all throughout the year, depending on the local climate.

 Perennial Bedded Plants

Perennial Bedded Plants are high maintenance and require pruning either prior to or following the growing period but also need regular attention. This one can be quite tricky as it depends on the individual plant and local climate and something that can only be learnt through trial and error.

Pruning Perennials in the Spring

Not all plants grow well if pruned before winter; the extra protection helps them survive the cold. Determining the best time to prune certain plants can only be done by monitoring them and taking note of how they react. Some plants that need to be pruned in spring are; Lavender, Wall Cress, Blue-beard and Rock Cress.

Pruning Perennials in Winter

Most plants don’t deal with harsh weather well but there are some perennials that prosper from being pruned in winter, for example, Daylilies and Columbine. This gives them the opportunity to be pared down so that they are not spoiled by the cold. The universal rule is to prune the plants when the temperature starts to plummet or whose leaves have started to perish.


There are two different sorts of Evergreens.

Broad-Leaf Evergreens

Evergreens such as mahonia, different types of magnolias and holly, don’t need a great deal of pruning, but when you do prune them it’s best to do in early spring.

Needle-Leaf Evergreens

Needle-leaf evergreens like spruce, juniper, cypress and fir are best pruned early on in the growing period but pruning some branches in the winter will not cause any damage.

And if it seems all a bit too much, remember we are only a call a way.  Our fully trained staff can help – just call Jim’s on 131 546 or book a free quote online for all your garden pruning needs!

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