Summer pruning guide: What to prune this summer – Key tips for healthy plants

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Gardening jobs are important to keep on top of, especially when it comes to pruning your hedges, shrubs, trees and flowers. If you prune in the summer, you can encourage brighter and bigger flowers next blossoming season. Pruning fruit trees in the summer can also encourage bigger fruit. So read on for the plants you should be pruning each summer, and how to do so.

Spring flowering shrubs to prune in summer

  • Deutzia
  • Flowering quince
  • Forsythia
  • Philadelphus
  • Lilac

To prune Gardener’s World advises:

Remove any stems killed by frost to encourage strong new growth to grow from low down in the plant.

It’s best to leave this until early summer when all risk of frost has passed. You could also use loppers.

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Tender shrubs to prune in summer

  • Abutilon
  • Outdoor fuchsias
  • Hibiscus sinosyriacus
  • Romneya

To prune Gardener’s World advises:

Prune after flowering to encourage strong new growth that will flower next year. Remove the oldest, woody stems right down to the base.

You could also use secateurs, or a pruning saw for thick branches.

Fruit trees to prune in summer

  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Cherry
  • Damson
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Pears
  • Quince

To prune:

Use secateurs to prune out new excess growth.

The aim is to create space that will allow more light and air in through the tree. This will help the fruit to ripen.

You could also use loppers, a pruning saw or long-reach pruners.


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Summer pruning for hedges and topiary

  • Beech and hornbeam
  • Box
  • Leylandii and Thuja
  • Privet and laurel

To prune:

Using hand shears clip slow-growing beech, hornbeam or box at the start and end of the summer.

Trim fast-growing privet every six weeks. You could also use secateurs or topiary shears for small hedges.


  • Wisteria
  • Jasmine
  • Honeysuckle
  • Campsis
  • Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Gardener’s World advises: Prune back trailing stems, leaving just three to four leaves on the current season’s growth.

The stems of climbers such as honeysuckle are short-lived, so prune out some of these older stems to avoid a bare base with flowers only at the top.

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