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‘Common pruning mistakes’ to avoid this winter or risk permanently damaging your plants

‘Common pruning mistakes’ to avoid this winter or risk permanently damaging your plants


Pruning aims to selectively remove dead and diseased branches from a plant, shrub or tree to encourage healthy growth.

While it may seem like an easy task, pruning wrong can lead to a lot of issues, including killing off the plant.

1. Not pruning at all

One of the biggest mistakes made when it comes to pruning is to not prune at all out of fear or not knowing what to do.

Eleni Veroutsos, gardening expert at BackyardBoss, said: “One of the most common pruning mistakes people make is not pruning their plants at all. 

“While it may seem like extra work, pruning is essential to making sure your plants are healthy and grow properly.”

Not pruning plants means they do not flower as well as they should throughout the flowering season.

This is because plants produce flowers on new growth, which pruning helps to encourage.

2. Pruning at the wrong time

 Pruning must be done throughout the year and when to prune all depends on what needs pruning.

It typically takes place in early spring or winter, when the garden enters a dormant period.

According to Teo Spengler, a gardening expert at GardeningKnowHow, if you make serious seasonal pruning mistakes and prune a tree in summer or autumn, gardeners may have removed buds, flowers or fruit.

However, some trees are susceptible to silver leaf disease and should therefore be pruned in summer when the risk of infection is reduced.

3. Pruning too much

According to Teo Spengler, a gardening expert at GardeningKnowHow, if you make serious seasonal pruning mistakes and prune a tree in summer or autumn, gardeners may have removed buds, flowers or fruit.

However, some trees are susceptible to silver leaf disease and should therefore be pruned in summer when the risk of infection is reduced.

“Pruning is simply cutting leaves and leaves are what a plant needs to make food. Therefore, over-pruning your plant means it cannot make food.”

If your plant looks stressed or damaged while or after pruning, it may be because you are doing too much.

Gardeners who think they are pruning too much should stop pruning for a while to see how the plant responds. If it starts to recover, then it may have been because it was pruned too much.

Make sure to take it slow when pruning, selecting the branches or stems with care before giving the plant or shrub a haircut.



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