What to cut back, prune and deadhead in August – full guide

As we close in on the long-awaited bank holiday weekend which marks the end of August, it’s the perfect time to get out in the garden and tend to your fully-flowered plants for a good prune. Whether you have long climbing branches that need a cut back or a few tired-looking flowers that need a light deadheading, there are plenty of plants that require attention this month – but what should you be focusing on?

Pruning your plants correctly is the key to keeping them in good stead, producing healthy growth year after year.

What’s the difference between pruning, cutting back and deadheading?

Knowing the difference between cutting back, pruning and deadheading is also something to bear in mind when working out where to start in your gadern this August.

Deadheading

This one is quite self-explanatory as it involves the physical removal of dead ‘heads’ of the plant – in other words, the spent blossoms.

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Prune…

Wisteria – if left to overgrown it will cease to flower so a twice-yearly prune is essential for this delicate purple flower.

Climbers – as well as Wisteria, pay attention to honeysuckle, jasmine, star jasmine as these are prone to becoming a tangled mess by the end of summer.

Spring flowering shrubs – tackle shrubs that have flowered earlier in the season to maintain their shape and encourage new growth for next year.

  • Focus on deutzia, flowering quince, forsythia, philadelphus and lilac.

Hedges – following the end of bird nesting season, hedges should be safe to prune in August but always make sure you don’t have a nest before going ahead and pruning.

Deadhead…

  • Perennials
  • Shrubs
  • Bulbs
  • Bedding plants
  • Geraniums
  • Roses

Lavender – remove spent flowers and trim back into good shape to keep your perfumed plant looking vibrant the following year.

source: express.co.uk