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Lawnmower Chris

Am never sure when or how hard to prune this type of plant.

Not even sure of its name.........any ideas people?




I don't know what it is but it looks as though cutting some of the oldest stems out right back to the base would be a good start. 

Resist cutting all the stems shorter as has happened here in the past. You end up with a tangled mass.

What are the flowers like? 

Lawnmower Chris

Hi nutcutlet. My pictures aren't great to obtain any advice, apologies everyone, but if you can enlarge the bottom pic, there are some faded flowers bottom right.


Reminds me of my Spirea but without seeing the leaves I am cannot say for sure.


Lawnmower Chris

There were so few, I couldn't even tell you.


I have enlarged to photo but can't spot the flowers you spoke of. I think you may have to post another picture when the leaves appear to get an identification. Meanwhile I would take Nutcutlet's advice and take out some of the older stems to open up the centre of the bush a bit.

Lawnmower Chris

Will do, thanks everyone. Didn't give you much to work with did I ......apologies.

Mark 499
I think it might be a potentilla

Could i throw one of the shrub honeysuckles into the mix! Lonicera purpusii or Lonicera fragratissima. Also maybe a Corylopsis? 

All 3 plants are winter/spring flowering, so if you could wait a few weeks to see if those are flower buds, would help I.D. the plant.


If there've only been a few flowers it's possible that it flowers on old wood and has been pruned at the wrong time of year so there's not been enough old wood to produce many flowers.

I'd do as Nut suggests and thin the centre of the plant from the base, but not shorten any of the other growth then there'll be some older wood left to form flowers.

Then give it a sprinkling of Fish Blood and Bone  to perk it up. 


I would wait until it flowers. If it flowers before June then prune it after flowering. If after June then you should be able too identify it when it flowers and look up what to do, or ask again here. But you can in the meantime do as Dove and Nut say if you feel it is too congested.

Lawnmower Chris

Messages received & understood, thanks everyone.........


I was going to suggest Spirea but enlarging the first pic, it looks very much like Potentilla.

Can't tell until it leafs up.  A photo then will confirm. 

I would do it as Busy suggests.  If its a spirea Anthony waterer, for example.....I would cut it hard back to the ground after flowering.  It will quickly send up fresh growth for summer and flower again.  If its a potentilla I would tidy it up in late summer. Whatever the plant is it will look better and be far more compact.  



Potentilla looks a good call on this plant



this has enlarging leaf buds, mine have nothing. Is mine dead?

Potentilla or,spirea ...can't determine anything this early.  Both long-lived so prob yours is ok Nut 


Thanks Verdun.

A lot is lost in a photo isn't it?  I'm sure if we had that shrub in front of us we'd know which it was.

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