When to Prune Escallonia.

We live on a fairly new housing development & the builders planted escallonia hedging between all of the houses, 1-6 years ago & a lot of them now look quite scruffy (& similar in size). Don't know the type (cheapest??!!) they're very dark pinky/red. Ours were planted 2 years ago. 

Early this spring neighbour to the right mentioned how untidy it was (he didn't particularly want it anyway, but we prefer a boundary) so I pruned it quite hard.  It hasn't flowered this year. On the left side we left it, it flowered a bit & it still has a few flowers on it. 

I thought that it should be pruned in spring as it flowers late in the year; Mr Google has many opinions on the matter, so I thought I'd ask some much more knowledgeable people image






  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,871

    Prune escallonia hedges in the autumn immediately after flowering - September would be about right, even if it's still got a few flowrs on - doing it now wouldn't be too late

    If you're happy with an informal hedge you can just trim it lightly with secateurs to take out straggly bits etc, and this method will give you more flowers the following year.   If you prefer a more formal hedge you can cut it back quite severely with hedge trimmer or shears but you will get fewer flowers.


    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Thanks very much Dovefromabove.

    I have tended to be a bit wary of chopping down anything just before the bad weather starts.  

    I had some lovely fat buds on several fuchsias until we got -5 a few nights ago; now there are just fat brown buds image.

    As we'd prefer flowers, I'll wield the secatuers asap.


  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,032

    I must admit to thinking that the spring was the best time for Escallonia pruning, but last Autumn my tree surgeon took an electric cutter to mine- I actually hant wanted those doing, just the huge E.Iveyi next to them.

    Anyway this year they have all really thickened out & flowered well too. So early autumn pruning for me from now on. Am in NWest, so not as far up as you Jeannie. J.

  • Thanks Jo, that's reassuring.

    I've severely pruned the one by the neighbour who'se not bothered & just trimmed & reduced a bit on the other side.


  • Most hedging shrubs can be pruned after they have flowered. This gives them enough time to build theirselves up for the following years flowering. So for Escallonia late Summer into Autumn and something like Ribes would be late Spring to early Summer.


    Good luck

  • kate17kate17 Posts: 1

    will I do the escallonia harm if I prune it now (mid-April). It is getting a bit straggly and too high.

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,106

    You probably wont get any flowers on if you do it now, better to wait till its flowered unless you dont mind.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • susan15susan15 Posts: 2

    Will red escallonia come back if it is pruned back to just wood without green leaves--ours are over 30 yrs old and way overdue for a major cut back if possible???

  • susan15susan15 Posts: 2

    Will escallonia come back if pruned down to just bare branches??  Our Red Escallonia plants are about 30 yrs old and haven't been pruned in years.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,111

    I think I'd strike some cuttings now, just in case it doesn't like it. That's an old shrub. Now is a good time for escallonia cuttings.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • partnerpartner Posts: 1

    I have an Escallonia hedge which I have given a really good clean out beneath and round the roots.  It is looking very sad and sorry for itself after such a hot Summer.  What should I do to help it along and hopefully re-vitalize it next year?

    Apart from compost is there a suitable food on the market for hedges?  Many thanks

  • i have pruned my escalonia and wondered if it ok to shift into another part of my garden now or early spring....


  • I think my front hedging is escallonia - it has very small pink flowers and pink berries - but am holding back from pruning it now because it's absolutely covered in bees.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 392

    I walk past a red flowering kept hedge a few times a year.  And every year late summer they strim it hard.  By mid summer it's flowering and looks absolutely amazing.  I think the reds are hardier.

    I started off an apple blossom, and I just cut it back hard (March), because it was all legs and yellowing leaves.  I hope it will bounce back.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 392

    I see another red variety close by the other hedge, and the height of it is something to behold, it's getting on two stories.  Both specimens have led me to think this makes for a really good hedging plant.  They are full of wildlife.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    The darker ones are a bit tougher Wayside. The white is less so. Mine didn't survive it's first winter - too wet and cold, despite being in a raised bed with plenty of grit and compost added to the soil. image

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 392

    Perhaps I was too brutal and optimistic.  We'll see.  As long as there isn't an upcoming cold snap.  It has a little shelter from nearby plants.

    Any idea why the apple blossom would have yellowing leaves?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Escallonia will shed some leaves - all evergreens do, especially at the end of winter, so it's not usually anything to worry about. image

    It makes a good hedge if you're in a coastal location, or anywhere with a reasonable climate and temperatures, but isn't so good if soil's cold, wet and heavy. Are you concerned you've hacked your hedge back too far? 

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