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pruning shrubs for growth

BluebaronBluebaron Posts: 226

On gardeners world a few weeks back i saw Monty pruning back the 'wrong' side of a shrub to encourage growth.

I have just removed a large hedge and exposed what was the back of a forsythia. Due to the previous hedge its all weedy on the 'new front and i want to get it to bush out. Do you think I should prune it back hard on the weedy side to encourage it to bush out?

The other side is all doing rather well. I also have the same issue with a laurel.



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Forsythia and laurel can both be hard pruned, the forsythia after flowering. Both are vigourous growers. I'd hard prune both if suitable, it would probably give you a better shape, and then feed, they should grow away over the summer months. laurel can be pruned to ground level and grow 4-5 ft in a season.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Forsythia.  Cut out a third of the branches that have flowered, every year.

    Growth follows the knife.  It will bush out fine.

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    ooh great question, I've been trying to figure this out too.  I have a couple of leggy forsythia's at the front of my house, would like them to bush out more.  One of them only has one stem, should I cut that right down to try and make it bushier from the base ? 

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Yes peanuts, the new growth will come from the bottom

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,415

    I have a multi-stemmed laurel. Some of the branches were leaning over the road so we cut them right off, back to the ground. There is now a nice bushy plant on half the laurel. This winter we'll take the rest off and we'll be back to a bush.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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