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Spring is time to prune

March is the ideal time to prune in the garden. More direct and longer daylight along with higher temperatures bring plants back to life.

The sap is the blood of the plant and begins to shoot up into the branches, splashing buds as they burst open. Once this ritual begins it is too late to prune effectively. If you act now, though, you have a chance to direct the energy toward more beautiful growth.

If you do not prune, shrubs grow wild and long, and they droop under their own weight. The flowers they produce are then in unmanageable places or not visible.

The more you cut back a plant, the better it will grow, generally speaking. This is especially true of the nation’s favourite flower, the rose. Pruning in advance will throw all of their energy into production of gorgeous blossoms and handsome stems. Roses often die out or at least reduce the number of flowers produced when left unpruned.

You have a small window in which to prune roses. If they are on the south or west sides of a building they should be pruned in early March, those on the north and east sides in late March. March is the important month because this is the first month without hard frosts, usually. Roses are particularly sensitive to hard frosts, since they tend to crack and die back easily. Once the buds have started into their growth, prune.

Cut back on the parts that are budding. Then the woody frame remains, forcing the blossoms to grow. The plant’s energy goes into the flowers. Rose bushes should be compact, while climbing roses should grow along the supports. Older stems should be trimmed back every 2-3 years.


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