MARCH CUT DOWN TO SIZE
Many shrubs need a good cutting down in March to either induce them to produce new growth for flowering or to keep them compact in habit. Some, like the Cornus alba varieties, need it to produce the bright stems for the next winter season.

Do go and do it. The difference it makes is tremendous. I teach my clients about this and the reaction is usually the same – they daren’t! The fear is that they will kill it. The truth is, that if not done, and the shrub is left to build up with unwanted and dead material, it could be condemned to a long, lingering death!

Of course, you need to know which shrubs can take this treatment. If it is fast- growing, there is every chance you can get going with the secateurs. Caryopteris, Ceratostigma, Fuchsias, Lavaterias and Phygelius are among those that are kept neater with hard cutting. It is such a shame when these turn into non-productive, woody old tangles when a bit of easy pruning can turn them into the thing of beauty that you first bought them for.

 

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