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Conflicting info about pruning Olearia x Haastii

ren.bren.b Posts: 164
Don't ask me WHY I put one of these in my raised bed ... I didn't know what it was (mainly used for hedging and no idea how big it would get - no info on label).  It seems really happy but I've got two conflicting pieces of advice as to whether I need to trim it now that the flowers have spent - all those flowers are now a deep brown.

This is the advice from the RHS - definitely saying to leave it until the Spring.

But this is what it says about the same plant on a site that sells it ....
"Care advice for Olearia x Haastii - Daisy Bush needs a good trim after flowering and will benefit from mulching. It may also need a tidy up in early spring."
Is it me or is that saying two different things?

The thing is, I don't know WHERE on the plant to cut (when I figure out when to do it) - is this what is known as a 'woody' plant? I wish someone would draw some pictures (for idiots like me) that shows HOW to prune - with arrows pointing to the cut points.

So do it now because it's finished flowering (the flowers are completely brown)?  Or leave it until next Spring? <3


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    This is one of those many shrubs that can be tackled in different ways, hence the seemingly conflicting info.  :)
    You can prune after flowering - which encourages new fresh growth, but you can also prune harder, and that can be done in spring when plants of all kinds are starting into proper growth, or it can be done after flowering.
    The timing becomes a factor depending on when the plant/shrub flowers. With some shrubs, pruning hard in spring means no flowers [or very few] that year, because you're pruning off the stems which will carry the flowers, but it won't do any harm. You can cut them back very hard to completely rejuvenate them too. They're often used as hedging plants in coastal, and milder areas.
    Ideally, you'd prune that quite hard every year, as it's too big for the space it's in.  :)
    You could also just remove some of the bulk at the front of yours, and then just tidy up the rest. 
    In that 2nd pic, you can cut back to a leaf joint.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629
    I've had this plant within the last 10 years here so this is a personal view, not based on anything published.. I no longer have it.

    ..first off, if you prune that plant now you will be cutting off buds that will give you flowers next summer, it's really best left, unless you are prepared for a reduction in flowering next year, but what you can do is snip off the old spent flower stalks which will have gone brown and dead..  I used to do this immediately after flowering mid July time... that is also the best time to prune it if need be..   those old brown flower stalks will gradually disintegrate over winter, and dislodge but some will remain all the way through, ultimately camouflaged by new growth..

    .. this is one of those shrubs that essentially looks after itself and needs no attention whatsoever, which is why it's favoured by landscapers in B and Q car parks etc.. as it's drought, wind and dry soil tolerant, and the hardiest of Olearias, but from a garden aesthetic we can improve on that by removing those old flower stalks... my plant after some years was only 3 x 3 feet, perhaps a little more, so it never got in my way..

    .. I found it a very boring plant that took up a valuable space so it's long gone.. but the greyish foliage was nice, I'll give it that..
    East Anglia, England
  • ren.bren.b Posts: 164
    thanks so much Marlorena - it was tiny when i bought it and wanted something in the bed that would give interest all year round but now I'm wondering if it should stay, the flowers did look really pretty though. So do I just cut right under the flowers?
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629
    edited September 2021
    .. that's ok.. yeah just snip off the dead stalk, it's usually gone hard and woody by this time..   it does look pretty when in flower, but I found it fairly brief.. 

    ..if you can see the blue line I've put on the left, just cut them off about that point..

    East Anglia, England
  • ren.bren.b Posts: 164
    Brilliant!  thanks so much - I'm already wondering where I can move it to lol.  I really need to find as much as I can about a plant before I buy it - some cards have literally no information, honestly - it fit in my hand when I got it ....but plants GROW lol :D
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    We all do it at some point @ren.b, so you're not alone  :)

    Your conditions can alter drastically how a plant grows too, and sometimes we just have to admit something isn't suited and either take it out and get rid, or move it somewhere more suitable.
    You're right about labels too, and that's something that's always annoyed me. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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