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Pruning of plants undervalued.

You often hear the plants pruning in the greenhouse at the end of the season and ready, Peace.

I myself believe that pruning is an art, and I have learned a lot from others.

Actually we have to talk about design, where the basis is a site.

"To be able to prune, you must first have something to prune"

Topping and pruning are the basis of a beautiful plant if one does not do this well you can see the consequences later. Make a distinction between hangers, shrubs and crown trees.

I will try to treat them one by one.

Determine at the site, cuttings, what you want to do with it.


I prefer to build up from young cuttings. The soil is still loose and rich in nutrients and you can not see old branches. These plants also always look more beautiful than old pendants.

Determine the number of cuttings you want to put in the pot, depending on the growing strength of the cuttings. As a base, for example, a Danish pot.

I would plant at least 10 cuttings from small-leaved, single-flowering plants, and place 6 of the large-leaved double flowering plant in the pot. Place them at least 5 cm from the edge of the pot, with a view to pruning. Start here, if possible, at the end of February in the greenhouse. Top the cuttings after each leaf pair and repeat this until the beginning or mid-May. If you want to keep these plants, prune them back in the autumn until the first eyes that have formed after the last buds.

You keep the plant again, then prune back in the autumn to the first eyes of the branches that have sprouted again after pruning the year before.

Photo 1: this is a 5-year-old half-pendant, 'Jaspers Marieke'.

I have consciously kept it higher in the middle, this gives a somewhat fuller plant.

Photo 1:  'Jaspers Marieke'

A tip, Young plants that have never overwintered still want to die in the winter. Prune these young plants already half September, there are already young shoots, and leave the leaves, put them in the light spot in the greenhouse preferably on a table or shelf, then the plant will not fall at rest, so overwintering much easier goes, (green overwintering), or airing if possible otherwise botrytis (gray mold) occurs. Make sure they are disease free (rust and vermin) when they go into the greenhouse.


The same applies here as with a hanger.

You can use one sting, but it is also possible to put three cuttings very close to each other, you then have a more robust plant.

For pruning and hibernating the same rules apply as with hangers to get beautiful bushy plants.

Use ascending species, see photo 2, the left plant is a medium hard grower, the right plant is a plant with short internodia,

(space between the leaves).

I myself never let these plants bloom for the first year, this investment sees the year on back and forth.


Choosing and cultivar.

I myself have the experience that you have half-pendant 'Janske Vermeulen', photo 3e and 3a, (the plant is 12 years old), or cultivars that sit between half-hang and up in, photo 4 and 4a, ('Jaspers Pink Pipes '), the plant is 3 years old, the most beautiful crown trees can make those years. The crown remains much flatter with these cultivars as with real ascending species, so you do not see the bottom of the flower crown. Cultivars with short internodes, and those that branch well, are naturally preferred.

You start with a cutting, if possible start with a cutting that has three leaves per leaf pair. Start here in January or February, I put the cutting in the living room in front of the window, you already have a bigger advantage compared to the same place you put in the greenhouse.

'Janske Vermeulen', photo 3e and 3a, the plant is 12 years old

Determine the height. Keep in mind that after the first buds there will be a crown of about 10 to 20 cm, depending on the cutting you use. Also consider the pot size that determines the total height, for example, if the plant is placed under a shelf in the winter. After the first bud, the same rule applies as with hangers and shrubs. Remove the side branches but not the leaves from the trunk.

I also never let these trees bloom in the first year,

photo 4 and 4a, 'Jaspers Pink Pipes', the plant is 3 years old

If you keep this, the pendant, shrub or crown of a standard is only 1 to 1.5 cm larger each year.

This prevents them from taking up too much space in the greenhouse. To get really beautiful shrubs or standard you should not let the first year bloom, but every time after a pair of leaves must top again.

If you topple all the foothills 6 times, there will be 64 twigs, if the plant goes into the greenhouse (with leaf), and in the spring you top every foothill again then you will have 128 twig where flowers arrive. Keep the leaves on the trunk of the standard

Old hangers, shrubs and standard

If a branch has died, try to fill this hole with young branches of the adjacent branches.

On picture 6 you can clearly see where the first pair of leaves is with a young offspring. This is the small leaves close to the exit point.

Prune back to a pair of leaves from the sprouted branches after pruning the year before. If these leaves have fallen off, you will always see the eyes where the leaves have been (see photo 5).

Photo 5

photo 6, the first leaf pair is in a young offspring.

Photo 7: Jaspers Lightning, 7a pruned, 5 years old.

Photo 8: Checkerboard, 8a pruned. 30 years old.

Renew old ugly shrubs or standards

Do this rigorously, cut out all the ugly things close to the trunk. (Photo 9 and 9a).

The best time for this is April or May if the growth is good again. Do not be afraid that the plant will not run out anymore, it is very rare that this does not happen. Spray the cut branches twice a day the first week. Top the shoots after each leaf pair and continue until the plant goes back into the greenhouse, leave all the leaves and put the plant in a light place.

For a year there are no flowers, but the year there is a beautiful plant.

Photo 9 en 9a

Some more remarks and tips.

If the plants are pruned and the labels have been checked, it is advisable to check if there is dead wood in the plant, and there is more dead wood in the plant than you expect. After every pruning, a piece of dead wood is created.

Usually that does not hurt. Photo 10, shows what the consequences can be, here was a dead branch.

The plant can handle such a hole or damage, but it is a weak spot when there is a lot of wind. Photo 11, shows what happens when you leave loose bark, here NO branch is torn off. These spots must be treated, firstly all soft wood has to be scratched or cut and then treated with a fungicide.

Repeat the latter several times, make sure that the wounds can dry properly.

Photo 10

Photo 11

All photos were taken at the end of October, beginning of November.

Hans van Aspert.

Questions email me. Then I call or email you back.