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By Hick

Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom Gb

When should I prune Philadelphus (2)! I should have said that I don't grow it for the flowers - it is the golden leafed one ('Aurea' I think) and it needs a really good rejeuvenation prune, not just a short back and sides. I am hoping to do it whilst it is dormant and I can see the framework of branches?

Thanks to Nikki for reply. Trouble is, I cannot get into it to prune after flowering and to be honest the flowers on this cultivar are not as good as on, say, Belle Etoile, so I grow it as a foliage plant. I was hoping to rejeuvenate it by pruning it now, whilst still dormant, and I can actually see what I am doing. I know what you mean about the old and young stems - I can see them so clearly at this time of year . I also want to take out any dead, crossing or misplaced branches. No sign of disease!

If I do it now, will it sulk all summer and look skeletal? Or will it still 'leaf'. As I say, I am not worried about the flowers.



Prune after flowering 1 in 3 old thick branches. You need to look for ne fresh reddy brown stems, these will flower next year. Old thick branches tend to carry little in the way of new flowering shoots and clearing old stems allow new ones to come up from the base. As soon as you can after flowering so as not to remove any new shoots and before it gets difficult to see when newgreen growth begins. Do this every year is conjested or old. Any stems that are a year or two old that have flowered, but have say two new shoots half way down, just trim flowered piece off down to new growth/buds. Never just square them off.

6 Feb, 2011


One of the reasons you leave pruning till after flowering is that then you can see where new shoots are developing. I don't know what will happen if you hard prune it early, and even so, I wouldn't do it now, I'd wait till March - you risk forcing new growth when the winter's not done with us yet if you do it right now. Sap's probably already up anyway, it's been so mild, but weather for next week is set to return to very cold. If the shrub is out of hand and driving you mad, and you're not bothered about the flowers, were it me, I'd go for it in March and see what happened, but it's up to you.

7 Feb, 2011

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