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Terrified to prune philadelphus



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,613

    I wouldn't prune a 2 yr old Philadelphus @theluciblack, let it grow a bit.

    @Meomye I would cut out the oldest stems down to the ground which should encourage new ones to grow then give it a feed.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 586
    @Meomye could you post a photo of your philadelphus then we can suggest options 😊
    Pic1, this stands approx six and a half feet tall. The tips of the leaves seem very light in colour (which is slightly clearer in pic3). Pic 2 show the only 'flowers' at present and the leaves look slightly mottled. In the past I have used the technique of reducing old stems but this specimen has never 'put on a show'. Hope this makes things a little clearer. I would be interested to know what variety this is. Thank you 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,613
    It looks as though it needs a feed from the lack of colour in the leaves. Also looks a bit congested, maybe it's too big for its boots, could do with some thinning.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 586
    edited June 2019
    I forgot to mention it is in sunny position and I have chalky soil. @Busy-Lizzie I think the photo is deceiving, as although it looks big it doesn't have lots of woody stems down below it just has a lot of very tall new stems with whispy foliage up top. I was thinking it might be lack of nutrients, any ideas what to feed it with? and is it ok to do it now? thanks
    @theluciblack apologies for hijack  :)
  • theluciblacktheluciblack GuildfordPosts: 38
    @Busy-Lizzie oh really (to not pruning)? What is the rationale behind that? I’m very new to all this 😬
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 62,256
    edited June 2019
    @theluciblack. I agree with @Busy-Lizzie ... there should be no reason to prune a two year old philadelphus. 

    There are three main reasons for pruning anything ... 

    1. To promote the production of flowering/fruiting shoots on an established plant. 

    2. To restrict the growth of the plant to an allotted space. 

    3. To correct irregular or congested growth, or to renovate an old plant. 

    Some people seem to think that you have to prune plants ... you don’t. 

    At two years old your shrub is still a baby and not yet an established shrub  ... unless any of the above apply there’s no need to prune it. 

    If it’s not  been fed this year give it some Fish, Blood & Bone feed
    and mulch the area around it with soil conditioner/well rotted manure/homemade garden compost or similar and leave it to grow. 


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • 1634 Racine1634 Racine Posts: 522
    Fairygirl said:
    I think racine's is a different variety. It looks like it could be Manteau d'hermine, which is a much smaller, bushier variety with small double flowers,and brighter foliage. I just tip back the flowering stems a little after flowering, and cut back ones which are in the wrong place.
    Lovely when they get going  :)

    I wish I could remember 😊

    i think it was either Manteau or Belle Etoile.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,135
    I don’t know which one mine was, it had single flowers but very strong perfume, OH wouldn’t go near it😀
    All I did was cut any out of place branched off immediately after flowering. 
    It was probably about 10’ or bit more when this was taken. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 586
    Morning @Dovefromabove, just wondered if u had any ideas from my recent pics? re variety/pale leaves etc? thanks
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,503
    Has it flowered,Meomye? There are lots of quite similar varieties, but some are single flowers  - like Lyn's - and some are double. 
    Other than that - there isn't a huge difference between them, and cultivation is the same. Belle Etoile is one of the most widely grown - single  flowers with a dark purply blush in the centre. Virginal is a double. They both get to around five or six feet.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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