Crucial pruning tip will guarantee ‘more flowering’ and 'vigorous growth' in spring

pruning plants in garden

Pruning plants ahead of Spring is a surefire way to guarantee big blooms

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 25/02/2024

- 08:00

Updated: 25/02/2024

- 08:18

Pruning garden plants adequately will offer strong chances of a full display

Pruning is often described as the most rewarding job in gardening because it guides buds out of dormancy and into new growth.

The practice is particularly beneficial ahead of the growing season, giving plants a timely boost before they gain momentum.

Tim Marshall, Raby Castle’s head gardener, told GB exactly which branches to trim - and how - for optimal growth over the coming months.

“Trim back branches that have become overgrown or are obstructing the natural from the plant,” he said.

Spring displays in the garden

Ensure plants are trimmed in the right place to encourage new growth


“Aim to create an open and balanced structure, allowing light and air to reach all areas of the plant.”

As the building blocks of a healthy garden, water, sunlight and nutrient-rich soil need easy access to plants to tend to their needs.

Manicuring plants by removing old wood or fallen leaves around their base will enhance their absorption of nutrients.

Tim suggests removing any foliage that shows signs of fading, however minor.

“For plants that bloom on new growth, such as many deciduous shrubs, remove older wood to rejuvenate the plant and encourage new, vigorous growth,” added the gardener.

This will encourage new flowering while defining the shape of the shrubs and reducing their overall risk of disease.

While it is one of the safest ways to make way for new stems, knowing how to spot signs of struggle on your plant is pivotal.

Sluggish growth, withered stems and crispy tips of leaves can also be taken as signs of an imbalance.

pruning garden flowers

Cutting off dead blooms will promote vigorous growth throughout the growing season


“Be sure to cut back to a healthy bud or shoot and this stimulates lateral growth and encourages more flower production,” said Tim.

He continued: “Cut back one-third of the oldest stems to ground level where possible.

“Deadheading or removing faded flowers is crucial to redirect the plant’s energy to produce new blooms."

Hard pruning is only advisable on plants that have already established a healthy root system and are guaranteed to bounce back.

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