Forum home Problem solving

Hard pruning Sarcococca (Sweetbox)

We moved into our new house in January and adopted a very overgrown garden.
We have been hard pruning numerous shrubs and bushes, but confused what to do with a rather large Sarcococca. It’s about 8 foot tall and very woody. Any thoughts greatly appreciated

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    Are you sure it's Sarcococca? If it's flowering now, it could be Osmanthus. Mine is just starting to flower, but it will be earlier in more southern areas.
    The foliage doesn't look fine enough for Sarco.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • To be honest I’m not that green fingered so might have got it wrong.
    What would you recommend ?
  • I’ve just checked out photos of the “Osmanthus” against the shrub and you’re right Fairygirl.
    How do you suggest I prune it ?
  • This is a pic of the entire shrub
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    Ee - it's a big 'un right enough!
    I'd wait until it's flowered, then take out anything damaged or diseased. Then you can carefully prune stems back to a good 'joint' on a branch, and it should produce more new growth. You can take it back by about  half - and then see how it responds. Even by a third initially. If it comes away again, you can do the same next year, until you get it more bushy and a size more suitable for you.
    Another method with big shrubs is to take some branches right out completely - right back to the base, but I'm not sure it would work terribly well with that.
    Ideally, you'd tidy up round the base and give it a bit of food and water, just to get it going again.  A mulch over that is good too - compost or bark if you have any.  I don't do much to mine - it looks after itself really  :)

    Mine isn't anywhere near that size, but it's more confined anyway. I just take bit off if they're getting in the way, or tie them in along the fence behind etc. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks Fairgirl. I’ll do that (although how do I know when it’s finished flowering)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    Those little white flowers will just fade away and shrivel. 
    You don't really have to wait, but it's simply so that you can enjoy the flowers while they're there   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks. I’ll send some pics after the pruning 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    Hi @jamie72carter- I was out taking a few pix yesterday, and took one of my Osmanthus burkwoodii. Yours may be a different variety of course.
    It's in a raised bed, and is around a metre or so in height, and about half that in depth, with a few sticky out bits  ;)


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


Sign In or Register to comment.