Pruning

Learn about pruning with expert advice from the RHS

Shrub pruning

Pruning late-summer and autumn flowering shrubs in spring will keep their growth in check and improve flowering.

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  • Sometimes apples need to be thinned to avoid overcropping. Image: RHS

    Fruit thinning

    In favourable conditions fruit trees set more fruit than is ideal. Fruit thinning involves removing excess fruit to improve fruit size and quality. It is carried out on apples, pears, plums, peaches and nectarines.

  • Heavy crops follow light crops when apples get into a pattern of biennial bearing. Image: RHS

    Fruit: biennial bearing

    Biennial bearing is a problem in some fruit trees, particularly apples and pears, where they crop heavily in one year and then produce little or nothing the next. Some cultivars are naturally biennial but weather conditions and soil fertility can contribute to the problem.

  • Fuchsia 'Bon Accorde' Credit: RHS

    Fuchsia

    Fuchsias are grown for their very attractive, usually pendent flowers that are borne more or less continuously from summer to autumn. They are useful in summer-bedding schemes, containers or in the ground. Some fuchsias are hardy enough to be used as hedges and in permanent plantings.

  • The easiest way to find a contractor is to use a gardening organisation. Credit: RHS The Garden

    Gardening organisations

    Gardening organisations can assist members of the public wishing to find a gardener, contractor, consultant or expert witness. Below we explain about some of organisations that can help.

  • Raised bed for easy access gardening

    Gardening with a disability

    Factors such as advancing years, disabilities and poor health through accident or illness can limit what an individual can do in the garden. However, in most cases, it is possible to still enjoy gardening. A wealth of information is available on designing and adapting the garden, specialist tools and equipment, inspirational gardens and how to apply for funding for specific projects.

  • Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'. Image: RHS Herbarium

    Garrya

    The long, hanging silvery catkins of Garrya elliptica (the silk tassel bush) are a striking sight in winter. With its evergreen leaves and graceful catkins, Garrya is an excellent wall shrub and a good winter-interest shrub or informal hedge.

  • Ribes uva-crispa 'Greenfinch'. RHS Botany

    Gooseberries, red and white currants

    Gooseberries, red and white currants are easy-to-grow soft fruits that cope with a wide range of soil conditions. They crop best in a sunny position, but will tolerate partial shade.

  • Grapes growing indoors. Image: Simon Garbutt/RHS

    Grapes: indoor cultivation

    Although some varieties of dessert grapes can be grown successfully outdoors, they are more successful under glass, even in warmer locations. With a little attention to watering, feeding, pruning and training, it is possible to get a good crop year after year.

  • Tucking shoots under a wire. Image: RHS/Tim Sandall

    Grapes: pruning and training

    The main pruning season for grape vines is early winter, but they need regular pruning and maintenance throughout the growing season to keep them manageable and productive. The two main pruning systems are the Guyot system and the rod and spur (cordon) system.

  • A grape vine pruned according to the Guyot system. Image: RHS/Tim Sandall

    Grapes: the Guyot pruning system

    The Guyot pruning system is used for grape vines grown for wine and dessert grapes outdoors. This system trains one or two fruiting arms along a main wire. It is commonly used on commercial vineyards, but is easily adapted for the home gardener.

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