Tools and techniques
Weigela blooming now....is this right, please?
edited August 2022
- the first thing you need to know about plant behaviour is that they haven't read the manual and will respond to local growing conditions including your soil, aspect, garden microclimate and general climate. Many plants this year will have felt the urge to flower again after a bit of rain at the end of the heatwave - all part of their drive to reproduce themselves.
However, as a general rule you can take that it any shrub that flowers in winter and/or spring can and often should be pruned as soon as flowering finishes as the next season's flowers willbe on wood produced during spring and summer. Another general rule is to take out, right to the base, one third of all the stems, selecting the oldest ones with the woodiest bark. This means your shrub is automatically renewed every 3 years so will maintain its flowering vigour and not outgrow its space.
Alternatively you can just prune back each flowered stem to shorten it and thus maintain a uniform shape but be aware that this will make for a very bushy shrub with reduced airflow between stems and that may lead to problems later on.
The RHS website is a good resource -
Scroll down for pruning advice.
Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
; huge thanks to you for your very helpful reply, I do appreciate it. Flowers I have a fair idea about; shrubs.....notsomuch! You're so right, plants just do what they need to do, according to what's going on around them, of course! I just wish we had more 'seasonal' seasons these days but that's a whole other topic!
I have definitely taken on board your sound advice with regards to taking right back the oldest/woodiest stems - thank you - and also, I will definitely read the RHS link that you've kindly included. I'm looking forward to learning more about shrubs and I'm thankful that we have some in our new-to-us garden.
Huge thanks again.