Plants to prune now to ‘keep healthy’ and ‘encourage new growth’ – ‘resists diseases’

Monty Don shares tips for pruning fruit trees

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Summer is a great time for gardeners to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and take advantage of the warm weather to do some gardening. You can prune many plants in early summer. By taking care of your plants now, you’ll help them stay healthy and look their best. Gardening experts at Backyard Boss have shared five plants gardeners should prune in early summer.

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Lilacs should be pruned yearly to develop a good framework of stems.

The experts said: “Pruning lilacs in early summer is a great way to encourage new growth and keep your plants healthy. 

“By removing dead or diseased branches, you allow more sunlight and air to reach the inner parts of the plant. 

“This encourages new growth and helps to keep the plant vigorous.”

For those lilacs that have seen better days, a more severe pruning may be in order.

Summer pruning also helps to shape the plant and control its size. 

Gardeners who have a large lilac bush, pruning it back in early summer will help keep it from getting too big.

St. John’s wort

This hardy perennial herbaceous shrub is known for its showy, yellow flowers blooming in summer. 

But if you want your St. John’s wort to look its best, summer pruning is a “must”, according to the plant pros.

The gardening experts said: “St. John’s wort is a fast-growing plant, and summer pruning will promote even more new growth. 

“This means more flowers and more green leaves for your plant.

“As St. John’s wort grows, it can get a bit unruly. Pruning early on in the season will help to keep your plant looking neat and tidy.”

If you don’t want your St. John’s wort to take over your garden, summer pruning is a good way to keep it under control. 

Regular summer pruning will prevent the plant from getting too big for its space.

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Flowering perennials 

Garden phlox

Pruning garden phlox in early summer is a great way to keep your plant healthy and vigorous. 

The gardening gurus explained: “By removing spent flowers and leaves, you allow the plant to direct its energy into new growth. 

“This will result in a fuller, lusher plant that is better able to resist disease.

“Early summer pruning also encourages branching, which results in more flowers.”

So not only will your plant look better, but it will also produce more blooms.


Yarrow is a beautiful, hardy perennial that blooms from summer to autumn. 

It’s easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. Yarrow is also an excellent plant for attracting bees and other pollinators.

Pruning yarrow in early summer fosters new growth and helps to keep the plant compact and bushy. 

It also helps to prevent the plant from getting leggy and floppy.

The experts said: “Pruning yarrow is a simple task that doesn’t take much time or effort, but it can make a big difference in the appearance and health of your plant. 

“So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your yarrow looking its best, early summer pruning is definitely worth considering.”

Autumn perennials

Garden mums

Pruning garden mums in early summer may seem a bit strange, but you should do it for several reasons. 

The gardening experts explained; “First, your mums will be fuller and healthier.

“Secondly, to help prevent pests and diseases from taking over your plants.

“And finally, if you don’t prune your mums in early summer, they will likely become leggy. 

“They will produce long, thin stems with few leaves or flowers. Pruning will help prevent this from happening.”

Those living in a colder region, do your pruning by early July – this will give the plants plenty of time to produce new growth before the cooler temperatures arrive.

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