Q) I have a large woody fuchsia in my garden and I wonder when I should cut it back?
A) The golden rule with pruning is to cut after flowering so you don’t accidentally remove the material where this year’s flowers will appear. Cut a third off a plant if you really need the space now, and if it’s still too big you can give it another cut in March, just before the new growth appears. Leaving old growth through the winter protects the roots from frost.
Q)...and what about my lavender?
A) Again, cut these back once the bulk of flowering is finished. Cut to a couple of inches above the woody part of the stem to prevent the woody stems getting longer. If you forget to do it now, March/April offers another window.
Q) My echinacea has stopped flowering now, what should I do with it?
A) Most herbaceous plants are now past their best. You have two options. You can cut them to a few inches above ground in the next month or so, or wait until March/April and cut them as above, or you pull off the old growth when it’s ready to detach. Give it a tug and it will come away easily.
Coolings.co.uk, the gardener’s garden centre
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