When to Cut Back Spring Flowers & Plants

Last Updated on 23/04/2021 by Amber Williams

Did you know that cutting back some spring flowers and plants helps them to perform better?

Spring is a great time of gardens, as all the remnants of winter finally disappears and we manage to see some sunshine. However, some plants and blooms need regular maintenance to help them thrive.

Herbaceous Perennials

If you’ve yet to trim your herbaceous perennials, then early spring (March onwards) is as good a time as any! Deadhead any seed-heads, dead leaves and stems to tidy up your garden borders. Throw them in a compost heap so that you can use it later on as mulch.

Bulbous Blooms

Spring bulbs are often the herald of the season. Daffodils, Hyacinths and tulips all fall into the spring flowers category, and although they look breathtaking when bloomed, they need maintaining to keep them that way. Leave your bulbs’ foliage for around eight weeks before cutting them back once died.

Bulbs photosynthesise, meaning that they store food and nutrients within the bulb which helps them to reappear the following year. If you cut these before they’ve had the chance, then they will struggle to regrow, leaving your displays looking sparse. For example, if your bulbs bloomed through March to April, then you should leave them standing until June or July.

Summer-flowering Shrubs

Although these aren’t spring flowering, summer-flowering shrubs should also be pruned throughout spring.

To promote a healthy regrowth before its flowering season, shrubs like Fuchsias should be pruned in early-mid spring. This will ensure that it creates an impressive display throughout its season. Simply cut back any of the previous year’s stems between one or two bud of the older wood frame.

Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses should be cut back in early-mid spring, depending on the variety. Grasses fall under two categories: Deciduous and Evergreen. The difference will determine how you prune them. Deciduous grasses will go a golden straw colour, and can be cut back entirely. Evergreens, however, do not need hard pruning, allowing you to simply remove what’s dead.

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