How to prune all plants ‘effectively’ to ‘encourage even, bushier growth’ now

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The best time to prune depends on the plant, shrub or tree but it is an essential job to help maintain a healthy and attractive garden. It can be hard to know how to prune or when a plant needs pruning and so experts at British plant food brand Phostrogen® have shared top tips on how gardeners can do the job properly. 

They explained: “Pruning plants is an important but often overlooked gardening task. Pruning means to cut and trim back leaves, branches and dead matter from your plants, shrubs and trees. 

“Yet this simple task offers a wide range of benefits – it improves plant health, prevents disease, encourages more growth, and allows you to train your foliage.

“You can tell if an area of a plant needs to be removed by checking to see if underneath the bark is brown or dying. Other tell-tale signs include not producing buds or leaves during growing season, and even underdeveloped or dead root systems.”

Pruning away dead matter helps to “reduce the risk of disease” taking over the whole plant.

Instead, it allows the plant to focus on new growth during its active growing season.

The experts continued: “It also allows more light and oxygen to get to the shrub, further encouraging more growth. 

“Pruning is also essential if your shrubs are beginning to take over an area of the garden or are overhanging walkways, paths and entry points, to allow clear access and to remove any safety risks.  

“This part of general landscaping maintenance also improves the overall aesthetic of your garden.

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“Plants will need pruning regularly to encourage an even, bushier growth – we recommend once every other month during active growth periods.

“To prune your plants effectively, simply take a pair of sharp secateurs or shears and cut off any dead, damaged or diseased stems and branches.”

In August, gardeners should prune wisteria and climbing shrubs after flowering.

Hebes and lavenders can also be given a light pruning.

For those with rambling roses, they should be pruned one they have finished flowering.

After plants have been pruned, the experts recommended replenishing the vital nutrients.

This included using a fertiliser to help the plant or shrub grow.

The plant experts said: “Fertilisers comprise of several key elements to help your plants thrive, including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium Iron and Magnesium. 

“These ingredients promote healthy green foliage and an abundance of flowers and fruit, as well as help plants become more drought resistant and develop a healthy root system. 

“There are a variety of fertilisers and forms to choose from, like Phostrogen® All Purpose Plant Food granules, which are applied directly around the base of the plant and simply hoed in before watering. This form has the benefit of a slower release of up to 100 days and is very easy to use.

“Liquid fertilisers can be diluted into a watering can and generously applied around the roots and as far out as the foliage reaches, getting to work fast.

“For organic gardeners, there are also a variety of feeds certified by the Organic Farmers & Growers which is enriched with seaweed for a naturally fertile soil.”

There are also other brands of fertiliser on the market, available from garden centres or online.

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