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Welcome to February's tips. We have added lots of video clips to the tips, however if you prefer to read instructions then click the more information and the written tips will be displayed after the videos!
This is the month to really get cracking with all the various different types of pruning necessary now to improve the performance of the plants in your garden. Here are quite a few examples of the approach you should take to work up a good bonfire with the prunings!
Buddleja – prune out all last year’s softer new growth back to the harder old wood. The vigorous new shoots which you will then encourage will produce more and bigger flowers as well as preventing the plants getting too large and unmanageable.
Wisteria – prune back any long extended side growths from last year back to 2-3 buds which will then produce flowering spurs rather than just more new growth. Un-pruned wisteria take longer to flower.
Populus candicans ‘Aurora’ – prune back the individual branches to 3-4 buds from the main stem. You will then get much more white and mottled white and green new growth on vigorous new shoots.
Clematis – all the large flowered clematis that are well established are best cut back to 1½-2 feet from ground level. The best show of flowers will be on the new growth.
Grape Vines and other varieties of Vitis – again prune out last year’s new growth back to 3-4 buds from the main stem well before the sap starts to rise. The same treatment works for Kiwi Fruit (Actinidia).
Prune Vines back to 3-4 buds from their main stems before the sap starts rising. Treat Actinidia (Kiwi Fruit) the same way as Vines.
Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses – be fairly ruthless and prune out any weak stems. Leave just 2 or 3 of the fattest shoots and cut back to 6-9 inches from ground level to leave room for 2-4 new shoots from nodes on the stem.
Mahonia – these plants which flower in the Autumn or Winter very often produce single stems. By pruning out the leader down to a lower node you can encourage side shoots and then multiple flower heads.
Plants like Paulownia and Catalpa which are grown to produce tropical effect foliage, can be stooled back most to the ground and top dressed with food, rotted manure or compost.