> i have a large rosemary bush over 4ft high 4ft wide any tips on pruning?
Hi maryrose, You dont say where you are ?? but as a general rule they
are best pruned immedeately after flowering and here in Cornwall UK,
they are in flower now ! Depending on how small you want to keep it, I'd
prune it all over by about 1/3rd, that will encourage growth from lower
down. If you want to keep it really bushy and need lots of new fresh
growth (ie. for cullinary purposes) as soon as the currents seasons new
growth is about 6" long, pinch these shoots out again.
I would also suggest that now would be a good time to feed and that will
help with the production of new shoots.
> Hi Mike, you dont say where abouts in the UK you are ??? Hydrangea
> seemanii is a particular favourite form of mine, its bushy,
> self-clinging and as you say, when it gets going, its quite vigorous. If
> anything, I'd say that seemanii was quicker to establish the petiolaris
> ! As for hardiness, I cant comment because, I'm down in the west of
> Cornwall where its quite mild but even last winter when we had -10 C
> apart from the very new top growing tips, there was no other damage. One
> tip that could be useful for you, would be to grow it in a large
> container in a sunny spot to get it really 'going' before planting it
> out about early September, that way, you'd give it a really good start
Thanks a lot for the response. I'm based in Leicestershire - do you
think this would make much of a difference? Could very cold
temperatures (-15+) kill the shrub entirely - or would it be more likely
to just kill the leaf foliage back?
Rosemary and its relatives such as lavender and sage need to be pruned
If you live in a climate where frosts occur regularly in the winter, do
not prune after mid-October (northern hemisphere); wait until spring
when no more frosts are expected. Pruning promotes new growth, which is
especially tender and would be damaged by frosts. While I do get some
frost in the winter, it is only occasional and not severe. Thus, I can
prune my rosemary at any time of the year.
When you make a cut, you must either remove the entire branch or else
leave some live foliage below the cut. "Live foliage" includes foliage
on side branches below the cut. If you cut into bare wood with no live
foliage remaining, the branch will die back to its base. All this
requires hand shears, lopping shears, and a small pruning saw so that
you can select each branch and make individual cuts. Do not use hedge
shears, which cut many branches at once. Too often, hedge shears will
leave several branches that have no live foliage; you would then see
I prune my rosemary to clean out lower growth and expose the branches,
which can be quite picturesque. The plant is about 30 years old. Its
branches are twisted and gnarled. At the base, it is about 6 inches in
If you really want to reduce the size of the plant, however, I suggest
that you do it gradually. After you lightly trim, wait. The plant
should get new shoots lower down. Then you can trim above those new
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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