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Translation help: what does it mean?

Hello English natives,

Unbelievable, we have already middle of January and soon, we can start to take care of the plants.
I had bought a couple of shrubs like Caryopteris. On the label, it says "reduce all previous season's growth to within 5cm of its origin in mid to late Spring".

Does this mean I cut the upper 5cm (which makes sense to me), or cut it down to the "ground" (which sounds unlikely to me). The translation program didn't really tell me what to do.
I have also a Deutzia that should grow to a height of 2 meters and I can't imagine to cut it down that much year by year.

Second question: they are all planted in summer/Autumn last year. I suppose I can start cutting next year and remove just the flower heads from for example Caryopteris "Heavenly Blue".

Many thanks in advance.

I my garden.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740
    I would wait until the caryopteris is starting to make some new leaves (mid to late spring) and then cut it back hard to about six inches from the ground. 

    I only prune deutzia if it’s getting old and the stems are overcrowded …  if they are, in the winter, I cut out about a third of the stems from the base, removing the older woodier ones. This encourages new stems and more flowers. 

    I hope that helps but if it’s not clear do let us know 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    When you get instructions like this they mean you need to identify the 'old' wood, the growth from last year, not the whole bush. However, in this case, do exactly what Dove suggests.
  • Thank you so much @Dovefromabove and @Posy

    I will do as advised 😀

    I my garden.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116

  • Just a side note, @Dovefromabove, I would have waited until Spring so or so, but isn't time running fast? Mid January already and it will not take long and it's Spring again :-)
    I noticed yesterday that the sun was still shining at 5 in the evening and the roof of the greenhouse is in sunshine at 11 in the morning.
    In one month time, the greenhouse will have sunshine in the morning and in 2 months time, it will have full sunshine over midday. I love this time when Spring arrives.

    Taken at 11:30 AM on the 25 of February last year. This is the moment I'm looking for.

    I my garden.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740
    edited January 2022
    The reason I would wait until at least mid spring (I would do it in April … if the weather is suitable) is that new growth is tender and therefore more vulnerable to damage by frosts. 

    If a shrub has not been pruned and the new growth is frozen and damaged the plant can produce new shoots from further down … but when a gardener has cut back a shrub in order to control its shape etc, if the new shoots are killed by the frost there is nowhere further down the plant for new shoots to come from …

    The control that we gardeners exercise in order to get the results we want, has to be done at the right time. 

    So, the pruning needs to be done when the worst frosts are over in your area. 

    Does that make sense? 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,221
    It's easy to assume the current weather will continue. Many people have been caught out like that, so it's always good to be cautious  ;)
    We've had the mildest winter, so far, that I can ever remember . This is normally when we get winter properly here where I am [the months before the new year are a mix of everything]  and there's still no real sign of it. It's actually very worrying. There are still some plants showing greenery which would usually be completely invisible by November. I won't be doing any serious pruning for a while  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • @Dovefromabove
    Absolutely. The only plant that I prune in February will be the rose. 
    Scotland is warmer as the North of Spain. They have currently -4 degrees Celsius at night. 
    Hopefully, it stays as it is. So far, we had a perfect Winter. Not too much rain, and in January even sunshine. 

    I my garden.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,221
    At height in the north of Spain it can be colder, but I can assure you this is a fairly cold part of the UK in most winters, and further north than I am is certainly not balmy. Summers aren't as hot/dry as other areas either in most years, although there's been a definite change over the last five years, apart from last winter. Fewer snowfalls [rain or sleet instead due to temps]  and less snow when it does fall, and fewer frosts. In an average winter we'd have around 50 or 60 frosts at least. Not this winter. 

    That's the reason we have a shorter season.  :)
    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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