Monty Don shares two plants to prune now to keep them ‘healthy’ and thriving

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice on growing shrub roses

Pruning plants can have a huge impact on how they will grow the following year. 

The task keeps them healthy, vigorous, and balanced and stops large varieties from taking over the garden.

Taking to his monthly gardening blog, Monty Don has shared what needs to be pruned in September – this is amongst a range of other gardening jobs for the month.

Before gardeners get into pruning the plants Monty has recommended, they’ll need to make sure to have clean and sharp secateurs.

Secateurs with damaged blades will make an uneven cut that may harm the plant and risk infection.

READ MORE: Revive ‘woody and leggy’ lavender easily for plant to produce healthy flowers

Garden plants to prune in September

1. Summer-fruiting raspberries 

The old brown canes of summer-fruiting raspberries can now all be cut down to the ground, leaving the fresh new green canes standing. 

The 68-year-old claimed that these new canes will carry next summer’s crop and ensure the plant remains “healthy”.

It is a good idea for gardeners to reduce these to the half dozen strongest shoots, taking out “all smaller or awkwardly positioned growth”. 

The remaining canes will need to be held securely for the next year and therefore summer raspberries are “best grown” against a permanent system of support.

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Monty explained that he ties the canes with twine to parallel wires fixed strongly between robust posts, weaving round them and fanning them out them evenly as he works along the wire at each level. 

He added: “It is important that it is really secure as winter winds can catch and damage them.”

If these plants are left unpruned they become very congested, produce small fruits, and outgrow their allocated space.

Also, the fruited stems will gradually become weaker each year and eventually begin to die.

2. Shrub roses 

Shrub roses are tough and hardy, often producing masses of flowers in the summer through to autumn. Rose pruning will ensure the plant grows more vigorously and flowers well next year.

Although some gardeners will be anxious about pruning roses, the many shrub varieties such as the gallicas, English roses, albas or hybrid perpetuals are “best simply trimmed with shears any time this month”, claimed the expert. These varieties of rose will often look best in a wild garden or a cottage garden that’s less formal.

He said: “Do not worry about the position or angle of the cuts, but clip away all long and straggly shoots as though you were trimming a hedge. Leave a compact, slightly domed bush that is about two-thirds of its former size. 

“In March, when you can see clearly without any foliage, you can inspect the shrub to remove any damaged or rubbing stems, but a simple shear in September is enough to keep it healthy and packed with flowers next year.”

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