How to - Techniques

Stimulate growth by learning to trim at the right time

Tips for spring pruning other popular plants:

Climbing roses: Shorten old growth back by about one-third.

Rambling roses: These flower on old wood; don't prune until they've flowered.

Vines: Prune to keep within bounds before leaves unfurl.

Conifers: Don't cut back hard because they seldom regrow. New growth can be hand-pinched back by about one-third while it's still soft.

Stems left to collect snow over winter should be cut back close to the ground before new growth starts. Cut back woody perennials, such as Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) by one-half to one-third to promote new growth. Tall plants, such as delphiniums, will give a better display of flowers and have stronger stems if the number of shoots is limited. Remove thinnest shoots when they're about 15 centimetres high. Leave two shoots on a young plant and seven or eight on a mature one.


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