It seems like pruning time has come early again this year due to the mild winter we have been experiencing thus far.  What a pleasant surprise it was to have roses flowering throughout winter. And even seeing plants such as Clivias in bloom a lot earlier than we normally do.  Despite the risk of a late frost always being there, now is the time to dust off those secateurs after their hibernation.

Almond Blossoms

Why is it necessary to prune plants?

The main reason for pruning any plant is to encourage new growth. This will produce better blooms or fruit and at the same time promote a neat and tidy plant.  Always bear in mind that new growth after pruning can be very sensitive to frost. Ensure that your secateurs and loppers are sharp and oiled to make pruning hassle-free.  For any stem or twig smaller than one’s thumb, a secateur is best. While for anything bigger, a lopper would be perfect.  I always prefer making my pruning cuts just above the bud at a slight angle and where possible, have the bud facing outwards.

Pruning Roses

 Have a look at our local rose expert Ludwig Taschner making rose pruning easy

Pruning Fruit Trees

Prning shears
Pruning Perennial Shrubs

After pruning seal any wounds with pruning seal. I would recommend spraying with SK eco oil if scale is a risk. This is a mineral-based oil that cannot burn the buds.  Now for the cleanup! Cut up all the stems into smaller pieces and add them to your compost heap or use a mulch rather than throwing everything away in refuse.  Other bits and pieces are perfect for getting a spring braai started.
I hope you enjoy the pruning and always remember the more you prune now the better a show you’ll have in spring.