Flowers regrow their crowns

Prune plants properly 25.01.2019 10:44

Cutting plants is not a science

In this post we explain how and which plants are cut

Would you like your plants to stay in top shape and soon admire the bright colors of your garden? In order for shrubs to bloom abundantly and to bear fruit, they must be pruned regularly: Plants that liven up your garden such as lilacs, sparrows, goat trees and clematis should be pruned regularly so that they bloom in summer or later. If the bushes have no leaves, the best way to see what needs to be cut away. At temperatures below five degrees, however, trees and bushes should not be cut or sawed, as the wood can easily splinter. Of course, like in nature, the flowering bushes would also grow without a cut, but a correct cut is necessary in order to keep the bush at an even height and encourage new shoots to develop.

Without this regular care, shrubs that bloom brightly at the beginning, such as forsythia, look ugly after just a few years. The same applies to the butterfly bush, the panicle hydrangea and the rose hawk: They bloom most beautifully when all the strong previous year's shoots are cut back to a few buds.

Our recommendation: radical pruning as early as possible! But it is important to distinguish between ornamental shrubs in spring and summer bloomers. Summer-flowering shrubs are in top form with annual pruning in early spring. If you want to encourage these shrubs to produce as many flowers as possible, it is best to set the cut date now! In frost-free weather but early! Reason: the earlier you cut, the sooner the plant will adapt to the new condition and form new buds. From these, the flowering shoots develop for the coming season. Because of the imbalance between the roots and the crown, which resulted from the pruning, the new shoots are particularly long and strong and the flowers are correspondingly numerous.
The spring bloomers, on the other hand - like the lilac, the forsythia, the snowball and the deutzia - are shortened immediately after flowering. They bloom on biennial wood and with this variant of the shrub cut can still create enough flower buds for the new year.Cutting techniques: thinning cut and tapering cut.
A distinction is made between different cutting techniques: The clearing cut keeps spring and early summer flowers blooming. Remove the oldest, heavily branched shoots every two to three years after flowering. In February, cut back all the shoots that had flowers in the previous year, except for the short stubs. This is in contrast to the rejuvenation pruning, which is only carried out if your shrubs have not been pruned at all or have been pruned incorrectly for years. The entire shrub is removed up to 30–50 cm above the ground and rebuilt from the strongest of the regrowing shoots. With a rejuvenation cut you can whip the shrub into shape. Generally speaking, pruning is like a makeover for the plants and can work wonders. However, it is important to only cut the species that really need a cut, as not all shrubs need or can tolerate a regular cut (see list below). All more valuable species bloom without this care measure. You can recognize these shrubs by the fact that they have flowers on annual or perennial wood and only continue to grow on the terminal buds of the branches. All evergreen species can also do without a cut. They tolerate it quite well, but do not bloom more intensely when pruned. The species related to the fruit trees, such as ornamental apples, should be thinned out when their tops become very dense.The different types of cutsHigh and low summer bloomers need a strong pruning. It is best to prune back tall flowering shrubs such as the buddleia (Buddleja davidii hybrids) or the blue rue (Perovskia abrotanoides) rigorously with sharp secateurs. Please make sure that only one stub with a maximum of two buds remains from each shoot from the previous year. Dwarf sparrows also need pruning in early spring if they are to bloom profusely in summer. Since they have very thin shoots and the distance between the buds is very small, you can simply use sharp hand hedge trimmers to prune the plants. The more you shorten the old shoots, the more beautiful the bushes will bloom in the new season. As a guideline, it can be recommended to prune the plants to about a hand's width above the ground.
This cutting method also applies to the following shrubs:
  • Beard flower
  • Bed roses and hybrid tea roses
  • Busmalve
  • Garden marshmallow
  • lavender
  • Panicle hydrangea
  • Rose hawk
  • Sacflower
  • Summer heather
  • Shrub or ball hydrangea

For the spring bloomers, the cut after blooming applies! Every two years old branches are cut off on the ground or above a new strong shoot. All spring bloomers form their flower buds in the previous year and bloom on the annual or perennial shoots. They are cut about every three years after flowering so as not to reduce the splendor unnecessarily. This measure is called thinning or maintenance cut. The goal is to remove the oldest, now blooming branches and twigs so that vital and strong young shoots have enough space to develop. This is done either by removing entire shoots or diverting older areas onto younger branches on the same branch. All the strength then goes to the new branch and it will develop particularly well in the course of the year: the crown becomes denser and has more flower stems.

All shrubs that need a spring cut have one thing in common: they repeatedly form long, unbranched young shoots near the ground or from the middle of the shrub. The strongest of these shoots are left to stand. They should be trimmed to different heights to encourage branching. Berry bushes are an exception: they are thinned in spring to encourage strong shoots for a rich harvest.
The following shrubs, among others, belong to this group:

  • Blood currant
  • Scented jasmine
  • lilac
  • Honeysuckle
  • elder
  • Crackling pea bush
  • Pipe bush
  • Snowberry
  • Ornamental currant
Not all shrubs are cut regularly! You can find shrubs that you shouldn't cut in the following detailed listing:
  • Rock pear
  • Plume shrub
  • Loquat
  • Bell hazel
  • Laburnum
  • Dogwood
  • Lily of the valley bush
  • magnolia
  • False beech
  • Snowball (all except Viburnum opulus)
  • daphne
  • Spindle bush
  • Storax tree
  • Witch hazel
  • Ornamental maple