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Shrubs: Tips for Pruning
To prune the shrubs makes it possible to obtain subjects with the harmonious silhouette and the abundant flowering. In a small garden, cutting well also limits the space occupied by shrubs. How to prune to get beautiful, healthy of plants? It’s not as complicated as you imagine! Here are some tips that will help you master the art of pruning.
Cutting well: the 4 golden rules
The period of size
The right time to prune is after flowering. The rule is valid for all deciduous shrubs. Summer blooming shrubs bloom on the shoots of the year. They are pruned once in the autumn after their flowering and a second time in late winter.
The spring-flowering shrubs bloom on shoots from 1 to 3 years old. They are pruned after their flowering.
The size technique
To cut properly, use a pruner perfectly sharp and clean. Bevel so that rainwater can flow without drowning in the bud. Orient the pruner so that the blade slides along the remaining wood on the plant. You will get a clean cut.
Where to cut
Always cut over a bud or leaf. Leave about 5 mm above the bud or leaf. Thus, no risk of damaging them or ending up with a piece of unsightly dry wood. The rule usually followed is to cut above the second or third bud (or leaf). In gardener language, it is called “two-eyed” or “three-eyed” (the eyes are located at the base of the bud or leaf).
The purpose of the size
The size must allow obtaining harmonious plants with branches distributed regularly. To cut well is to avoid the impression of clutter. For this, it is necessary to ventilate the center of the antlers. The sun can penetrate the heart of the shrub and promote flowering. In the same way, take care that branches of equal strength do not cross each other. Finally, remove the dead wood by cutting flush with live wood (active during the vegetation for the deciduous species, it’s easier!).
Shrubs require a maintenance pruning to maintain a balanced bough.
In the case of spring-flowering shrubs, this is to eliminate all branches older than three years. They are recognizable by their larger diameter. They also carry at least two secondary branches. Cut them to their point of birth. Shorten also the long branches that have bloomed.
Examples of spring shrubs: Japanese coronet, forsythia, Japanese quince, spring spirea, lilac, syringe …
In the case of summer blooming shrubs, you can cut all branches above the third bud. This short size prevents elongation of branches and keeps a compact port.
Examples of summer shrubs: rustic fuchsia, big-flowered hydrangea, lavender, shrubbery, summer spirea, shrub sage, weigela …
In the case of evergreen shrubs, it is mostly a size of fitness. You can also eliminate unsightly branches, dead branches and parts damaged by frost. You can intervene several times a year if necessary.
Examples of evergreen shrubs: laurel, boxwood, charcoal, pittosporum, Mexican orange tree …
Finally, there are the exceptions! To cut some plants well, do not cut them. This is the case of plants of heather land for which it is sufficient to remove the faded flowers. Indeed, their growth is ensured by a single terminal bud, so not touch!
Examples of exceptions: azalea, camellia, rhododendron, skimmia …
With these few tips, get started with the art of cutting! Your shrubs will make you a hundredfold. They will bloom more, they will be less fragile and they will have an elegant port. To your secateurs!