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Spirea cut-back


Once the gardener had cleared the dead shrubs from the back-left corner, I had a go at taking out the weeds and ivy that was infesting the space. There was a load of it under the Spirea Gold Flame which I couldn’t get at because of the foliage.

But I noticed that all the flowers were dead and could do with removing, so I went online to search “Spirea prune” and it said that the flowers should be removed as soon as they’d started fading, which meant they were well overdue. So I cut them back (wish I’d saved them, I could have tried drying them for indoor decoration, but didn’t think of it).

It also said to cut back any dead or broken stems; I couldn’t see any of either (or at least couldn’t’ recognise any of either) , but the stems were badly tangled and overlapping, so I started cutting some out and cutting the rest back a bit – then a bit more …

I was trying to get the bits level, but taking a bit too much off one side meant I had to take some more off the other side to balance, then took a bit too much off that side, so … bit like trying to trim your hair, by the time you get it even you’ve got a short-back-and-sides!

Right at the base of the plant, mixed up with the stems, I found the plant label; it said the plant should be hard pruned to keep it in shape – so I’d done it, even if a couple of months late. Hope it doesn’t mind.

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Hi Fran..
another for GoYpedia Pruning :o)

9 Jul, 2014


I think I'd give it a balanced feed if you haven't already this year......not after july though as the new growth won't harden up enough for the winter

you've got so much more space there now.....
don't forget bulbs in the autumn, time to decide what you'd like, I need some miniature daffsfor a trough

9 Jul, 2014


Let us know how it responds to such hard pruning Fran.

9 Jul, 2014


Thanks @TT, I hope it survives my treatment!

Thanks @Pam - i've not fed any plants, other than the potted ones once or twice, when I've remembered. would a general "plant food" be ok, or should I look out for somthingmore specialised?

The Spirea was crowding the Pieris, so that's got some more room now (especially as the gardener took out shrub 6 completely, as that was crowding it from the other side); ther's plenty of bulbs in there - gardener says they're chives, which is ok but do i need that many of them? I've got the narcissi that came with me from the old place; they were a bit crowded in their pot this spring, so they can go there,

I got most of my narcissi at Sainsbury's, bought about forty boxes of bulbs last July-August, so there should be more out on sale soon

I've found loads of other plants by the shed, no idea what htey are, but they're bulbs and still have green leaves, and very crowded, so maybe some of those can go there as well.

thanks @ Stera, I sure will!

9 Jul, 2014


I usually feed something like gromore in the spring, its a balanced fertiliser.....thats equal quantitiesof nitrogen for the leaves, potash for the flowers and phosphorus for the roots.
I tend to use the slow release fertiliser in my tubs, little orange balls.....I think they work on temperature, releasing nutrients only when its warm?
wilko sell it , may be a reasonable idea this time of year.....

sounds as if you're really getting organised x

10 Jul, 2014


I'm due to prune my Spireas Fran They can be chopped back like you have done. If it is OK it will look just as good this time next year. I havn't dared cut my Spireas as it has been so hot and dry recently, but after this rain they will have a shorter trim than last time.

10 Jul, 2014


thanks @Pam. I suspect that the ground will need replenishing all-round - I do'nt imagine that it got much TLC if hte shrubs themselves didn't.

I suppose I really should do all the beds, digging in manure or compost of something - should also get a soil test kit, but i'd need someone to read the results!

I've got some of those slow-release pellets - but when I repotted some plants, the pellets came out hardly touched! so I don't know if the plant didn't need any, or if the circumstances weren't right.

I'll check out Wilkos, there's one in town, near where I'm supposed to be going - lol should have gone yesterday, could have gone today, will "definitely" go tomorrow!

Thanks @Dorjac - if this prune takes, I won't need to cut back so severely again, just thin it out a bit.

10 Jul, 2014


Wow, that's some pruning job lol! Seriously though, it should be just fine, in fact it may be even better for it. I agree with the feeding which has already been mentioned. I always use chicken pellets myself.

11 Jul, 2014


thanks Waddy. I've heard of chicken pellets, but never needed to check them out before, as I only had a few pots. different now, in more ways than one!

I didn't mean to cut it back that much, it just sort of happened as i tried to even the sides up. I'll learn.

11 Jul, 2014


Chicken pellets are great as far as they go but they are low on potash, which is what you want for flowering, so i would use some Growmore too as its more balanced.

12 Jul, 2014


thanks Stear, I'll add that to the shopping list.

I did think about getting a soil test kit, but I'd need someone to read the instructions for me - and the results!

12 Jul, 2014

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