Pruning regularly is the best way to keep your shrubs and trees in good shape and produce the best display.
Discover seven plants to prune for better flowers.
However, if a plant has become very overgrown, more drastic action is needed - you'll need to remove some of the stems and reduce the rest by a third or a half.
Here's how to rejuvenate an overgrown shub, a large hedge and a neglected apple tree.
Rejuvenate an overgrown shrub
Cut out the thickest, oldest stems from the base, using a pruning saw or loppers. To prevent tearing a heavy branch, make a first cut, about 30cm above the final desired cut. Remove the oldest wood - up to a third of the stems - each winter, leaving the rest to flower, and cut back any crossing branches. Then reducing the remaining wood by half after flowering. Don't worry if you can't see any buds - hard pruning stimulates new shoots from under the bark. This works well on forsythia, mahonia and viburnum.