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Too early to prune?

gardenman91gardenman91 Posts: 429
Evening all, I’m wondering if it’s still to early to prune perennials and shrubs? The nights are still reaching down to 3 degrees Celsius so am a little dubious. As far as I’m aware they’re all hardy apart from perhaps the convolvulus and salvia hot lips
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    A bit of a generalisation. Depends which plants.
    Devon.
  • Robert WestRobert West Posts: 236
    I hope not as I've pruned back everything over the past few weeks! Other than the hotlipsand other woody salvias. I'll wait a bit longer until they're covered in tiny buds low down, then they'll get their annual chop. I take them down from 3ft to 1ft.

    There might be other plants best left a while but most things seem to be fine to chop back come March. Anything in particular you're worried about? 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    any shrubs which flower before about June ( eg Rhododendrons )  shouldn't be pruned now. You'll be cutting off the flowering wood
    Devon.
  • gardenman91gardenman91 Posts: 429
    I will list the plants in question :smile:

    hypericum ‘magic series’
    aquilegia
    escallonia
    skimmia japonica
    digitalis goldcrest
    photinia little red robin
    choisya ternata
    penstemon stapleford gem (will leave this till April I think)
    hypericum x moseranium Tricolor
    scabiosa
    Salvia hot lips
    hebe rose elegance 
    phygelius salmon leap

    Sorry for the essay!
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    IMHO the best way to treat Hot lips is to dig it up, get rid of all the soil and lob it onto a bonfire then plant a nicer salvia in its place.  o:)
    Devon.
  • I will list the plants in question :smile:

    hypericum ‘magic series’ - chop to second set of growing buds on all good stems to what looks like a good open structure. Cut weak stems off completely.

    aquilegia - cut old and frost damaged stuff to ground.

    escallonia 

    skimmia japonica 

    digitalis goldcrest

    photinia little red robin - just remove damaged/all tips by about 4-6" to promote red new growth unless shaping in which case also ok

    choisya ternata - trim away it will always grow back

    penstemon stapleford gem (will leave this till April I think) - remove about half now and back to low new growth when frost's over

    hypericum x moseranium Tricolor

    scabiosa - chop away

    Salvia hot lips - wait for new growth and cut low above it

    hebe rose elegance 

    phygelius salmon leap

    Sorry for the essay!
    Above is what I'd do for the ones I know.

  • gardenman91gardenman91 Posts: 429
    @shane.farrell thank you for the info :smile:

    Don’t get me wrong I’d do the exactly the same but wasn’t sure about my timing. I didn’t want to leave it until there’s a lot of new growth romping away only to cut it away, but then again was worried the colder temperatures would damage the new pruned tips.
  • I did most of those jobs last weekend 😃
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,218
    This may be nitpicking, but IMHO you prune trees & shrubs but you do not actually prune perennials, you "cut them back" or give them the "Chelsea chop". See https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=868
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • gardenman91gardenman91 Posts: 429
    @Papi Jo yes I know perennials aren’t pruned, just used it as a general term sorry :smile:
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