Paraic Horkan is the resident garden expert on the TV3’s Ireland:AM show. This week he gives invaluable advice on pruning your garden plants at this time of year. These tips will keep your shrubs and trees healthy, while helping them to thrive all through the coming summer months.
Paraic’s Top Tips for Success:
- If your plant is in flower don’t prune it until the flowers are gone.
- If your plant is not in flower, but starting to bud, you should trim right back to where you see new growth.
- Don’t forget to feed your freshly pruned plant to create big luscious plants and flowers.
Spring is here and your garden plants are beginning to grow. Now is the time to prune your garden shrubs, trees and even your rose bushes. Don’t be afraid to prune this new growth, it is actually very beneficial for your plants.
Rose bushes, in particular, need a good pruning as they grow from close to the ground. Remember it is very important to prune them back severely to take any dead wood. This will encourage a lot of new growth.
In just 2 weeks, you will see a difference in your plants. After this you will see a nice display of flowers and foliage in the summer. Roses bloom from June to October.
The key ingredient to pruning is to feed your plants fertiliser straight afterwards. Paraic recommends Sudden Impact as an excellent choice for any flowering plant; such as roses, hydrangeas or any plant which flower in the summer months.
It is important to re-apply the fertiliser within 5-6 weeks for thriving plants. Spring pruning is not just for your flowering plants, it is also important for your non-flowering shrubs. For example the Euonymus plant is often grown for its leaf colour with its distinctive white tips all winter.
If your plant is tall and leggy, pruning back will help to make it bushier and bulk up the plant by encouraging new growth.
Same can be said of the Hebe Heartbreaker if you prune it back to where the shoots begin within 2 weeks it will look fuller and bushier. For all this pruning you do need good garden clippers. Paraic uses Wilkinson Sword Pruners as these are very sharp and will cut up to a 2-3 cm wide. These will prune your rose bushes, fruits trees and general shrubs with ease.
But for larger trees, it is better to use larger clippers such as the Yeoman Loppers Pruners. Loppers have a 3-4 inch diameter cutting area with a ratchet which makes it easy to cut larger branches.
Remember don’t prune your plants that are already in flower, like Camellias or Winter Heather. The trigger to prune these plants is when they go out of bloom which is roughly around May time.