Pruning early bloomers
Amateur Gardening|May 08, 2021
Ruth cuts back the year’s first flowering shrubs
Ruth Hayes
THANKS to the unseasonably cold, dry spring, our early-flowering forsythia bloomed later than usual, but when it did eventually get going, it put on an eye-popping yellow, cheerful show.

Now the petals have fallen so it is safe to give it its annual trim without jeopardising its blooming potential.

Forsythia flowers on stems grown the previous year, so it is cut back after flowering to give the plant the best part of a year to renew itself to bloom the following spring. If we pruned it in autumn like most other deciduous shrubs, we would simply remove or reduce its chance of flowering well.

Other shrubs included in this category are flowering currant, mock orange (philadelphus) and weigela.

Pruning immediately after they have flowered also helps keep them neat, healthy and robust.

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