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Pruning and Protection. Have I pruned too early help!!


I have inherited a very old garden which needed most of the plants shrubs and climbing plants to be cut to the ground almost as most of them were just woody stems with little flowers. I have just done this yesterday but my friend says I've done it at the wrong time and now the plants (mainly fusia, buddleia, holly and a very overgrown climbing plant with lots of pink flowers) will suffer through the winter and may die off 😭😭. What can I do now to protect them please? I was thinking of wrapping the stems in fleece protection from Amazon!! Would this help and if so do I only use it once the colder winter sets in until basically the really cold weather has finished in say Feb? 
P s I pruned drastically now (Oct) on the advice of a family member so I'm a bit confused as I'm not sure what I should be doing now. Thanks for  reading and for any advice offered. Much appreciated. X


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,940
    Depends where you live,  but I don’t think it will hurt the 3 plants you’ve mentioned there. 
    They do say leave the tops on the fuchsias until February but I’ve cut down earlier.
    You’ll probably need to cut the Buddleia back a bit again in March to get the best from it, depends how much it grow in the Spring.
    I wouldn’t go to the expense of fleecing any of those.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    I wouldn't worry. Unless you live somewhere very cold, or in an exposed location at altitude, or similar, they won't suffer too much. If your weather isn't cold by the end of February, you don't live somewhere cold   :)
    Most shrubs will recover no problem, although it may take a while for flowering shrubs to have much of a display. 
    I presume you're talking about a hardy fuchsia though?
    Do you know what the pink flowering shrub is or do you have a photo?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,140
    "a very overgrown climbing plant with lots of pink flowers" could be a Clematis montana. They can get very big. My Dad cut one back once (correct time of year, straight after flowering) and id never grew back, but my sister used to have one that she hacked back from time to time whenever she felt like it and that one always grew back, so it's anybody's guess how yours will respond (if that's what it is).
    I think all the others will be OK unless the fuchsia is one that's not hardy, but that seems unlikely if it's been there a few years already and was still alive.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    Senior moment @JennyJ - I missed the 'climbing plant' bit  ;)
    C. montana is a good shout though. It would be absolutely fine if it is that.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks so much guys for your replies. Really appreciated and I feel a little less worried now. Here is a pic of the plant which is just now a 8 inch stem 😮. I can only hope that it grows back 🤞🤞. It grows like wildfire. Cheers 
  • Sorry 18inches not 8 😁
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    edited October 2021
    It's  a Lavatera, or similar. One of the mallows.
    It won't do it any harm either. Normally you wouldn't prune those much unless they get a bit big, but you'd usually do it in spring. They can get quite big and floppy  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you. Yes it got so big and floppy a few months back that the weight of the branches split the trunk with an almighty crack 😮.  Which is why I had to cut it down to around 18inches. X 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    It'll recover   :)
    They're good 'back of the border' plants, but they can get a bit floppy if there's nothing to support them. Weather conditions can have an effect too, and create a lot of softer growth,  so a bit of pruning each year or two can help. Keeps them a bit tougher. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GwenrGwenr KentPosts: 150
    I wouldn't worry, I've cut loads of plants and shrubs back all sorts of times and my neighbour looks on with horror and always the words, you've lost that, but I never have, if anything, if you give plants a good cut back they appreciate it and come back with vigour and a brilliant show next year.
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