Pruning is one of the most important gardening jobs, done throughout the year to help promote flowering and health in plants, flowers and trees.
It is important gardeners don’t prune at the wrong times of year as this could permanently damage what they are pruning.
Sharing advice in his latest blog post, Monty Don wrote: “Wisteria produces its flowers on new growth, which in turn emerges from spurs off the main shoots.
“When they have finished flowering – and for most of us that is around the middle of June – it is time to prune all this year’s new shoots back to a spur.
“Leave no more than six inches of growth. In the process, the whole plant can be tidied, trained and tied in so that there are no loose, trailing shoots.”
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If gardeners have any doubt about how hard to prune, Monty recommended erring on the side of cutting too lightly.
This means in the New Year, when all of the foliage has died, it can be pruned again, reducing each side shoot to just two or three inches.
2. Early flowering shrubs
Britons should also prune flowering shrubs such as philadelphus, amelanchier, deutzia, weigela and rubus this month.
They all produce their flowers on shoots grown the previous summer and so Monty recommended pruning them now.
He said: “This will give the new growth plenty of time to ripen before winter and thus bear maximum flowers next spring.
“Mature shrubs should be pruned hard, cutting back most of the flowering stems to a healthy new shoot and taking the oldest growth right back to the base so it is completely renewed every three or four years.
“A very overgrown shrub should be renewed in this gradual manner too.”
If gardeners have young shrubs, the weakest growth should be cut back with the remainder pruned just to shape and size.
After they have been pruned, they need to be weeded, watered and mulched to take semi-ripe cuttings from healthy, straight non-flowering pruned stems.”
3. Deadheading roses
Deadheading is a form of pruning which involves selectively removing any spent flowers from the flower.
According to Monty, deadheading roses is “really worth doing” at least once a week to help prolong their flowering period.
To do so, simply pull off the old flower heads and cut back to the first leaf below the spent flower, where a new shoot will emerge.
4. Clematis montana
Gardeners should also prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of climatic Montana once it has finished flowering.
Untangling stems can be fiddly, but once you can see where you are cutting, it doesn’t matter where it is cut, it will take a hard cutting very well.