‘Beautiful new growth’: Garden plants to prune now for ‘best harvest possible’ in spring

Gardener with spade

Certain plants rely on colder months to send food reserves to their roots

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 07/02/2024

- 16:23

Gardening will turbocharge new growth by pruning plants ahead of spring

The success of garden displays in spring often hinges on the preparatory steps gardeners take during winter.

This is because many plants rely on the colder months to shed their leaves and send food reserves to their roots. One expert has explained which plants these are.

According to Daniel Scholfield, director of the expert gate company, February is the optimal time to trim Wisteria and apple trees, as this offers enough time for their development to resume ahead of the next growing season.

Research indicates that pruning before buds open in spring encourages “optimum wound closure” before they’re subjected to the destruction of insects.

wisteria in garden

Prune wisteria now for beautiful new growth


Scholfield told GB News: “February is the ideal time to prune wisteria plants to keep them in check, cutting back both new growth and well as the main branches to three buds.

“This conserves energy for the growing season along with helping to shape it into the direction you want it to continue growing in so that once spring hits you’ll have some beautiful new growth that’s also keep neat and tidy.”

Wisteria Sinensis, which grows and grows in an anticlockwise fashion, is the most widely grown variety in the UK.

Pruning is the best way to ensure the plant produces a spectacular show. Gardeners are encouraged to prune twice annually for optimal growth.

While the first trim of the year takes place just before spring, the process should be repeated around mid-summer, a few months after flowering.

“On the topic of pruning, this is also the time to prune any winter-blooming shrubs you may have that have finished flowering, along with hardier evergreen shrubs that may need tidying up," noted Scholfield.

“You’ll also want to finish up the pruning of any apple trees you have before the spring growing starts so you have the best harvest possible from a healthy tree.”

The Royal Horticultural Society recommends maintaining an open-centred crown with well-spaced branches to ensure the trees bear “good quality fruit”.

Apple trees

Apple trees will produce the best possible harvest if pruned in February


Trimming back plants spurs vigorous growth from growing points on the plant, meaning certain species may see an increase in flowering.

Furthermore, by giving new life to the plant, gardeners can enjoy prolonged blooming periods or repeat blooming.

It is worth noting that pruning at the wrong time will not kill a plant, but the process could weaken or damage the root system.

As a rule of thumb, the worst time to prune is immediately after new shoots appear in the early days of spring.

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