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Pruning Question

I would like some advice as I am new to gardening ! Here is a picture of a Philadelphus I think . It has become very tall and woody. We moved to our house 4 years ago and I pruned it two years ago but don’t think I did it correctly. It didn’t flower much this year at all. I have being looking online but am a bit confused . Should I prune it hard as it seems to have got out of control with a poor flower show? 


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,508
    Hello dairinwogan and welcome to the forum. There is some good advice here that may help you. Pruning straight after flowering is the norm for these with periodic removal of old growth.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,572
    As Ladybird's link suggests, these shrubs flower on growth produced in the previous season and should be pruned after flowering finishes.   It's abit late this year for yours to produce new growth that will mature enough to flower next year so I suggest you do some thinning now to aerate the plant and let light and air in to the remaining stems.

    Using good loppers, remove at the base the oldest and thickest stems with the roughest bark.  Make good clean cuts at an anle so rainwater can drip off.  This will discourage infection from fungal or viral disease.  Don't take out more than a third.   Next spring, as buds start breaking, check for any dead or damaged stems and remove those carefully.

    Next year, after flowering, take out another third, concentrating on the oldest, fattest stems.  Then give the shrub a generous handful or two of slow release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or a formula for flowering plants.   Repeat every year and you will renew your shrub completely, control its size and encourage flowering.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you both for the advice that is really helpful . It’s all an education but I am enjoying the learning process ! 
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,508
    You are most welcome
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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