Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov
Where buds are visible, prune just above them to prevent leaving a long 'snag' of stem which could encourage die-back. Allow 3mm - 4mm so as not to damage the bud itself.
Where plants have alternately positioned buds on their stems, make the cut at a slight angle in the direction in which the bud is pointing.
If the plant has pairs of buds opposite each other, make the cut straight if you want both buds to grow. Alternatively cut at an angle to remove one of the pair where a single stem is required.
Cut out any old or dead wood at the base of the plant to encourage strong new shoots from the base. You may need to use long-handled loppers for more leverage if the wood is thick and tough.
To rejuvenate old shrubs or coppice shrubs that are grown for the colour of their stems, hard prune all the stems down to 10cm - 15cm above their base during the dormant season. Don't worry if there are no buds visible.
Where stems are growing close together or crossing, cut out one to prevent them from rubbing together which may damage the bark and cause die-back or disease.
Cut back flowered stems of herbaceous plants down to ground level, leaving the clump of leaves at the base. This stops the plants wasting their energy in forming seed.