Once early summer shrubs finish flowering, it’s time to give them a prune to keep them youthful and vigorous ready for a superb show next year.
Among shrubs you can prune now are philadelphus (mock orange), spiraea, lilac, buddleja, flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), Kolkwitzia, Exochorda and Deutzia.
Give shrubs a prune
Start by investing in some good tools: you’ll need a sharp pair of secateurs, some loppers and for mature shrubs, a pruning saw. You’ll find top-quality cutting tools at the garden centre here in Sherington, Newport Pagnell - ask for advice from our staff if you’re not sure which to choose.
Look for dead, diseased or damaged branches and remove those first, taking them out at the base, then snip away weak and spindly growth.
Then thin out about a third of the oldest wood, leaving the youngest, most vigorous shoots to grow on.
Make a clean cut as close to the crown of the plant as you can get: for side branches, cut just above a joint with another branch. Finally, cut shoots which flowered this year back to strong growth buds further down the stem.
Once you’re happy, give the shrub a good feed of slow-release fertiliser, water well and mulch to set it up perfectly for next year’s display.