Plants to prune in spring

Not sure which plants to prune in spring? We highlight plants that need pruning now.

Many plants should be pruned in spring, including lavenderbuddleja and ornamental grasses. Pruning in spring makes way for more growth and helps to encourage more flowers, foliage and colourful stems on a wide range of plants.


Find out how to prune like a professional.

Spring pruning means you can also ensure your shrub has a nice shape. It’s also an opportunity to cut out dead, diseased or dying stems. After pruning, mulch plants with a generous layer of garden compost or well-rotted manure to give them a boost.

Here are five plants for spring pruning.

After pruning, mulch plants with a generous layer of garden compost or well-rotted manure to give them a boost.

Tender shrubs

Mediterranean shrubs such as lavender need protection from their top growth over the winter months, but this can be cut off in spring to make way for new young growth. Other tender shrubs to prune in the spring include cistus and rosemary.


Summer-flowering shrubs

Shrubs that bloomed in the summer such as fuchsia and buddleja can be cut back hard in spring to encourage a burst of new growth and plenty of flowers for next season. Watch our video guide on pruning buddleja.


Ornamental grasses

Miscanthus and other deciduous grasses that have stood over winter can be cut back hard from March. Remove all the brown growth, leaving any new green stems behind. Watch our video on cutting back ornamental grasses.


Plants grown for colourful winter stems

Encourage the growth of colourful winter stems by cutting plants such as dogwoods and willow back hard in early spring. Do the same with plants grown for their foliage, such as cotinus. Watch our video guide on pruning and propagating dogwoods.


Spring-flowering shrubs

Shrubs that flower on the previous season’s growth, such as weigela and forsythia, benefit from being cut back immediately after flowering to keep them in check.


Use the right pruning kit

It’s worth getting kitted out with some good-quality pruning tools. Secateurs, loppers and a folding pruning saw will enable you to tackle a wide variety of jobs.