Tag Archives: pruning

Skimmia japonica redruth; early flowering plants for pruning in May

Pruning in May

Pruning in May

Skimmia Japonica Fragrans. Early flowering plants for pruning in MayMay is the perfect time to prune any early-flowering shrubs that have now finished flowering, for example any Skimmia. Pruning annually is a great way to extend the lifetime of these shrubs and promote healthy flowering next year. By pruning shrubs as soon after they have flowered as possible, you allow the plant to direct its energy into developing next year’s shoots and flowers now, over the summer period.

Pruning made easy:

  1. The time to start is once the plant has completely finished flowering (you should not be able to see any new flower buds).
  2. Looking at the dead flowers, follow the stem under the flower back to the first leaf you come to and snip here unless you are going for a harder prune to get the shrub back in shape. If this is the case keep going down the stem until you get to the desired point and then snip just above a leaf/branch shoot.
  3. It is a good idea to take out any weak shoots so that the plant can refocus its energy away from these.
  4. If there appears to be overcrowding you may also choose to remove a few stems right from the ground in order to prevent any congestion.

Tools for the job:

For best results make sure that your secateurs are nice and sharp. To prolong the life of tools we also recommend a good wipe down when you finish using them. This stops sap from building up and clogging the mechanism.

You may also want to invest in a good pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands. There are lots of different types available, you simply want to chose a pair that allow your hand flexibility to be able to hold and cut with the secateurs. You may also want to look for longer gauntlet type gloves that will also give protection to the lower arm.

Both of our Exeter garden centres stock a selection of gardening gloves and garden hand tools and our plant team will be pleased to advise on pruning.

July in the flower garden

It’s July, time when the roads get busier with holiday makers and time to retreat to the sanctuary that is the garden.

When it is warm, continue to hoe weeds, as they will shrivel and die on the surface. Likewise, if you see any larvae or adult pests pick them off, squash them or use a suitable control method. Scarlet Lily beetles are particularly a pest at this time of year.


If you have any variegated shrubs, cut out any non variegated branches, making your cut at the base of the stem where it joins the main trunk. Many variegated shrubs will try and revert to their mono colour if not managed in such manner.

Prune deciduous magnolias if required but always leave at least 75% of the original canopy.

Prune your early flowering shrubs like Weigela taking them back to well placed side shoots.

Cut back hardy geraniums after flowering to encourage them to re-flower or grow fresh foliage.


Continue to harvest rain and use your water butts to water plants like agapanthus, camellias and rhododendrons as they will be setting their buds for next year.

You should also water clematis, roses, laurel and honeysuckle in dry weather to discourage powdery mildew.


For more advice on what to do in your garden at this time of year, come and speak to one of our plant team who will be pleased to advise.