How to cut back early flow­er­ing shrubs

Amateur Gardening - - Content -

DE­SPITE ap­palling weather, our for­sythia flow­ered in a glo­ri­ous mass of yel­low blos­som ear­lier this spring. It is a re­li­able shrub, putting on a splendid show each year and does so be­cause I cut it back im­me­di­ately af­ter its flow­ers have faded.

De­cid­u­ous shrubs that flower early in the year (flow­er­ing cur­rant, mock or­ange and ker­ria, as well as for­sythia) should be cut back straight af­ter flow­er­ing.

They pro­duce blos­som on the pre­vi­ous year’s growth, so early prun­ing gives them the max­i­mum grow­ing time for next year’s flow­ers. Start by re­mov­ing the flow­ered growth back to strong new shoots. You should also re­move dam­aged, dead or dis­eased branches back to their ori­gins, as well as weak and spindly shoots. Just leave ro­bust branches that will bloom strongly. Cre­ate an open gob­let shape by re­mov­ing stems that are grow­ing up through the cen­tre of the shrub. You can also prune out up to 20% of the older stems each year to make room at the base for ro­bust young growth.

Af­ter prun­ing, feed with a gen­er­alpur­pose fer­tiliser and mulch well.

Cut back early flow­er­ing shrubs straight af­ter bloom­ing for good growth and more flow­ers

For­sythia flow­ers well af­ter prun­ing

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