Alan Titchmarsh explains how to correctly prune roses
Pruning is essential to a healthy and productive garden, in fact, it’s one of the best things gardeners can do for their trees and shrubs.
Cutting back plants can encourage flowering, help define shape, control growth, and reduce the risk of infection.
Gardeners can prune different plants throughout the year, however, there are some trees and shrubs that must be pruned at this time of year to ensure healthy growth.
Lindsey Chastain, founder of The Waddle and Cluck, a blog about all things home, has shared which plants gardeners can prune now.
She said: “October is a good time to prune back many shrubs and trees as they enter dormancy. Proper pruning encourages plants to be healthy and productive. Be sure to sterilise pruners between plants and make cuts just above outward-facing buds.”
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1. Rose Bushes
Rose bushes can be pruned back in early autumn by cutting away any dead or diseased stems and reducing the remaining stems by about one-third to one-half their original height.
The expert claimed that this “stimulates new growth and flowering for the next season”.
Gardeners need to make cuts at a 45-degree angle just above an outward-facing bud.
Gardeners can prune hydrangeas in October by cutting back the stems to “just above the second set of buds down from the flower head”.
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Lindsey said: “This will remove the old flowers and encourage big, new blooms.”
However, it is important that gardeners make sure to identify if they have a mophead or panicle-type hydrangea, as they are pruned slightly differently.
3. Fruit Trees
To prune fruit fruits in autumn, thin out old, overcrowded branches on fruit trees to open them up to more sunlight.
The expert claimed that this is best done after the leaves have fallen so gardeners can see more clearly where they are cutting.
Lindsey explained: “We like to use ribbon to mark branches before the leaves fall where the foliage is the most dense.”
After, just cut the branches at the trunk or main branches at a 45-degree angle.
4. Evergreen Shrubs
Give evergreen shrubs like boxwoods and hollies a gentle shaping by trimming back wayward branches.
However, “don’t take off more than one-third of the plant” or it can “cause damage”.
Cut back tall perennials like bee balm and garden phlox to about one-third their height to “prevent damage” over winter.
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