Wisteria

Pruning climbers for better flowers

Discover six climbers to prune in summer for better flowers, including jasmine and wisteria.

Pruning back climbing plants at the height of summer has many benefits, not least helping to restrict the overall size of the plants and stopping them outgrowing their allotted space.

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Removing a lot of the current season’s growth before it has a chance to turn woody will help to reduce the number of stems that grow next year, and promote fruit and flowers instead. This is also a good opportunity to take out any overcrowded, diseased or damaged stems. 

New to pruning? Follow our advice on pruning like a professional.

Follow our sage advice on pruning climbers for better flowers, with six climbers to prune in summer, below.

Honeysuckle stems are short lived, rarely lasting more than five years before weakening and producing fewer flowers.

Jasmine

Jasmine is best pruned right after flowering, at the end of summer. This leaves plenty of time for new growth time to mature. Simply prune back flowered stems to a strong sideshoot lower down. You can also cut out crossing, weak or thin stems.

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Cotoneaster

Summer-blooming cotoneasters can be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. Prune back the oldest branches to the ground, and cut flowered branches back to half their length.

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Pyracantha

To prune pyracantha, or firethorns, that have been trained against a wall, cut back new sideshoots produced in the current year from the main framework. Don’t cut right to the base of the sideshoot, as you’ll also prune out the colourful berries. 

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Rambling roses

Rambling roses tend to be very vigorous and given a free rein, the strongest stems will continue growing vigorously from their tips and become thicker at the base, with flowers restricted to sideshoots ever higher on the plant. Here’s how to prune a rambling rose. Look out for thorns when pruning climbers like rambling roses and pyracantha.

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Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle stems are short lived, rarely lasting more than five years before weakening and producing fewer flowers. Prune out some of these older stems to avoid a bare base with flowers only at the top. Control its vigour by pruning trailing stems in July, leaving three to four leaves on the current season’s growth. This’ll encourage the plants to put their energy into producing flowers.

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Wisteria

Like honeysuckle, vigorous wisteria will also need to be controlled by pruning the trailing stems in July. Leave three to four leaves on the current season’s growth to encourage the production of more blooms. Here’s our full guide on summer-pruning wisteria.

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