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New Gardener, shrubs advice

alan933alan933 Posts: 6
Hi Folks, 

From having a very small container garden, I've moved in to an old property with fairly mature  large gardens. I've been getting rid of weeds, and using one of those phone apps to distinguish plants from weeds!

I was wondering. I have two shrubs (which where growing in the shade of some huge 60ft conifers, which have now been removed), one is a Lilac i believe an the other, not so sure could be called Daphne Tangutica according to my phone app!

I was wondering, because they haven't been tended to in about 10yrs they have gotten quite lanky with just foliage where the sun managed to get to them, if I were to trim them back / prune them. Will that be ok, will they grow back, and if its ok to do so, whats the best time to do this?

I've attached some pics.  

Thanks in advance


  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    First is a neglected Buddleia Davidii, it can be cut right back to 2ft in the late winter.

    Second looks like a hebe, I would take some cuttings and start with fresh plants as I believe they don't like too much pruning and that one is very leggy. 

  • alan933alan933 Posts: 6
    Thanks so much. Unfortunately most of the garden is a bit like this, so I need to lavish some tlc in the hope save as many plants as possible. Hopefully with a bit of advice I'll be able to save most of them :)
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,909
    edited August 2019
    With my buddleias I cut back by half in the autumn after flowering, then prune right down in late March.
    As Bij says, the Hebe won’t recover from the type of pruning needed, take some cuttings if you still want the plant and dump the original. 
    I think you need a different App 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,236
    edited August 2019
    I wouldn't bother with the Buddleia although it could be rejuvenated as mentioned above. I would leave the Hebe (rakaiensis?) until autumn, then you can do hardwood cuttings. Trim off all the living twiggy bits, and plant them out in a row in dug ground somewhere shady. You'll have more hebe plants than you know what to do with (but luckily they're a useful background/filler plant).

    You can do cuttings now as well, but the way I described doesn't require any watering, compost, pots etc. Just move them to their final positions when they start to grow.
  • alan933alan933 Posts: 6
    Thanks so much for the advice folks. Working away at the garden every day :)
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