Five plants to prune in September to ‘stimulate fresh growth’

Alan Titchmarsh explains how to correctly prune roses

Ash Read, founder of Indoor Plants and gardening expert, told “September is a pivotal month in the gardening calendar, marking the transition from summer to fall.

“As the days shorten and temperatures begin their descent, many plants prepare for the dormant of winter.

“Pruning during September can be beneficial, but like the month of August, it’s essential to understand each plant’s needs.”

1. Roses

According to the expert, September is the “right time” for pruning shrub roses, helping shape the plant and removing old, diseased, dead wood.

However, for more tender varieties or for those that bloom in the late autumn, Ash recommended waiting until spring.

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2. Summer-flowering shrubs

The plant expert said: “Many shrubs that have finished their flowering season by September benefit from light pruning. This can stimulate fresh growth and promote more robust blooms the following year.”

3. Perennial plants

Ash added: “As their flowers fade, some perennials can be cut back. This encourages a tidy garden appearance and can sometimes spur a second, albeit smaller, bloom.”

4. Deciduous trees

The expert said September can be a great time to prune any non-fruiting deciduous trees because the sap is “slowing down” and the tree is preparing for winter. This means “less stress” and “less likelihood” of disease transmission.

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5. Raspberry canes and grapevines

Ash recommended pruning raspberry canes back to ground level once they have finished fruiting in the autumnal months.

The plant pro noted: “This helps the plant focus its energy on next year’s growth. If you’re growing grapevines, September is a time to consider pruning. 

“By doing so, you direct the plant’s energy to the grapes and not unnecessary leafy growth.

“However, not everything should be pruned in September. Spring-flowering shrubs have set their buds by now, and pruning would mean cutting off next year’s flowers. 

“Similarly, if you have plants sensitive to the cold, heavy pruning can stimulate new growth, which will be particularly vulnerable to frost.

“As always, the mantra remains the same: know your plants, and prune with purpose and understanding. 

“Pruning is as much an art as it is a science, and the more you know about your garden’s inhabitants, the better caretaker you will be.”

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