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Advise on this, pruning etc

spiddockspiddock Posts: 28
Any suggestions on caring for this plant

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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,109
    it looks like a Viburnum × bodnantense of which there are a few varieties.
    Usually they are pruned after flowering (so around springtime). Remove some (about 1/3) of the older stems completely from the base. This will encourage fresh new shoots.
    You can tidy the rest of the plant at the same time.

    I have VB Dawn which I like to keep no more than 6-7ft, so I prune all the new growth back in late summer and remove some older stems in the spring.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 372
    The flowers, coupled with the leaves in pairs up the stem makes me think of Viburnum. It looks quite a lot like Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn', which is very similar except the flowers are more pink and the foliage slightly more pleated. Is this an inherited plant in a new garden? I ask - and I'm not trying to cause offence - but previous pruning attempts have had quite a negative impact on its appearance. Has someone been trying to reduce its height or contain its growth in a narrow spot? If so, I would say it's probably a case of a plant in the wrong place. 

    The thick stems could be pruned just above ground level in early spring, straight after flowering. This would leave the younger, upright shoots. You can remove about one third of the stems each year, focusing on taking out the oldest and/or any that are dying or damaged. 
  • spiddockspiddock Posts: 28
    It is inherited, recently moved here, huge neglected garden with some great plants that have been neglected 
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 372
    I would take the really old and thick stems out in late Feb, early March, depending on how the season goes. I would be tempted to give it a good year for the young, thin stems to really get going and then you can review in subsequent years.

    There will always be someone on this forum who can ID plants that are unfamiliar but to help with pruning you might like to consider "Essential Pruning Techniques", which was updated and expanded by Tony Kirkham (head of arboretum, Kew). It lists all key species and tells you how and when to prune.

  • spiddockspiddock Posts: 28
    Thanks for the help, ill look him up 👍
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 372
    I should have added that after pruning you should feed the shrub with something like blood, fish and bone or Growmore and mulch with garden compost or well-rotted manure, making sure the ground isn't dry when you apply it.
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