What to prune in March: Backyard design skilled shares unique spring pruning information

Making area for brand spanking new progress is the important thing to securing your summer season backyard, however with a lot able to prune, it may be robust to know the place to start out. Whether or not you’re rising shrubs, grasses or a combination of vibrant flowers the seasonal transition is the proper time to offer your crops some TLC. Specific.co.uk spoke to award-winning backyard designer Polly Wilkinson to seek out out precisely what try to be doing in your backyard this March.

What to prune in March

Whereas spring has arrived within the meteorological sense, the brand new season is not going to formally set in till the top of the month.

This three-week transition between winter and spring is the proper time to prune crops forward of their flowering interval, however the place must you start?

Talking solely to Specific.co.uk, multi-award-winning backyard designer, Polly Wilkinson mentioned: “There may be a lot to prune presently of 12 months.

“For these in colder areas it’s possible you’ll wish to maintain off till nearer to April, however there’s a lengthy listing of crops that may be pruned between now and early spring.”

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Deciduous decorative grasses

Most of those tall, swinging grasses are left to face throughout winter because of their long-lasting show, however by early March they’ll start to wither away.

Outdated leaves and biscuit-coloured stems have to be in the reduction of earlier than new shoots emerge.

Miscanthus and Calamagrostis may be reduce to the bottom proper now to make means for brand spanking new progress.

Merely collect them up and chop on the base, however attempt to not reduce any new inexperienced progress if potential.


This aromatic shrub is beloved for its iconic colors and wealthy aroma, and now’s the proper time to offer it some consideration.

Give your established lavender plant a mild prune to take away stragglers and enhance the form, mentioned Polly.


Cornus alba, sanguinea and salix willow may be pruned arduous now to safe vibrant stems for winter.


Hydrangea paniculata and arborescens can be pruned comparatively arduous now

Prune by half for those who want to hold the present form, or all the best way to the bottom pair of buds – that is normally round 25-30 cm from the bottom.

Late summer season shrubs

The time is true to offer late flowering summer season shrubs a vigorous prune, mentioned Polly.

Deal with fuchsias and buddleja to safe contemporary flowers and vibrant, wholesome progress.

Polly mentioned: “Use loppers and a pruning noticed to chop again buddleja to round 30m above the bottom.

“If you need the frothy, smoke-like flowers in your cotinus – don’t prune.

“However if you need the gorgeous contemporary foliage show, reduce the stems again arduous to 2 to 3 buds from the bottom – if you need each, reduce a 3rd of the stems – beginning with the oldest.

Herbaceous crops

Polly added: “Any herbaceous crops that weren’t in the reduction of in autumn to supply winter curiosity within the type of seedheads can now be in the reduction of.”

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Frequent pruning errors you must attempt to keep away from

Whereas pruning is a comparatively easy course of, it might negatively have an effect on the expansion of your crops if achieved incorrectly.

Pruning an excessive amount of, within the wrongplace or not pruning in any respect can all harm your seasonal blooms – however how are you going to keep away from them?

Pruning an excessive amount of

As a basic rule, except it’s a shrub that ought to be in the reduction of ‘arduous’ equivalent to Buddleja or Cornus, you shouldn’t ever prune greater than a 3rd of a plant at a time, any greater than this and it might probably shock the plant, mentioned Polly.

Pruning within the incorrect place

It additionally issues the place you prune. Normally, you wish to prune simply above a node (the place the leaf or bud emerges from the stem).

Polly added: “In case you go away lots of materials above the node, you can be left with an ugly stump of useless stem.”

Not pruning in any respect

Whereas this one has a simple repair, it may be robust to know precisely when to prune your crops.

Polly defined: “Sure crops have to be pruned to be saved at their finest, whether or not that be for form, flowers, measurement or color.

“Sure Cornus produce the brightest stems from new progress – so for those who don’t reduce it, you will not get that pop of color in winter.

“Different crops may be thuggish and take over, so pruning retains them to the proper measurement and prevents them turning into a congested mess.”

High suggestions for spring pruning

Instruments and strategies play an enormous position within the high quality of your pruning, in the end affecting the way forward for your crops.

Whether or not you’re coping with shrubs, climbers or bushes, Polly has revealed her prime tricks to dwell by whereas working via your early spring pruning.

Clear and sharpen your gear

Polly mentioned: “Blunt secateurs gained’t give a clear reduce, which can expose the plant to potential illness and take longer to heal than a great clear reduce.

“Ensure that to disinfect your instruments to keep away from spreading any illness from plant to plant.”

  • Use secateurs for smaller shrubs and climbers
  • Use loppers and a pruning noticed for bushes and huge shrubs
  • Hold instruments clear, sharp and effectively oiled
  • Draw up an inventory and deal with every plant one after the other – you’ve got till April to get all of them achieved

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