On a visit to my sister’s at the weekend, I found her in the garden, pondering what on earth to do with a large, unruly, overgrown bush.
Her Rose of Sharon evidently hadn’t been pruned for a very long time and the years of neglect meant it was now in danger of taking over the place. It looked healthy enough, but it now consisted of leggy branches with bits of greenery waving around on the end of them. And it was massive.
In short, it needed a blooming good haircut.
This was the ideal time to prune it, as it had already begun to sprout this year’s new growth, and a tidy up now should not sacrifice the flowers later in the year.
Peering into the centre of the plant we noted that further down the leggy twigs there were indeed signs of new leaves emerging. I told her the basic rule: cut back the plant, but make sure there’s growth before the cut. Also, cut out any branches that were dead, to let more light and air into the centre.That way, we could give the plant a jolly good tidy up, and the plant could still throw up new shoots and survive.
Having a new garden now, where I’m willing and waiting for everything to grow and flourish, I relished the thought of getting lary with the loppers and and off we set to work.
In no time at all we’d whipped out the dead and leggy branches, and now had a plant that was a fraction of the size but now had the potential to grow into a better shaped specimen which wasn’t overpowering the garden. We also had a garden full of chopped off shrubbery which would take a good couple of trips in the brown bin.
Now that the plant was a more manageable size, I noted that it had become so well established, that it had actually thrown out runners, and these in turn had rooted and were shooting from the soil. I dug one of these out, making sure I got as much of the roots as possible, and potted this up to replant in my garden.
Once home, I earmarked a nice sunny spot, dug a hole, popped it in and firmed up the soil around it. After a good watering, I then trimmed my mini version to about half its size. This was so that while it was bedding in to its new surroundings, it could focus its energy on producing roots, and not be trying to sustain all the greenery as well.
So, for a good afternoon of pruning, my sister has a bush that’s neat and tidy, and I have a brand new, free addition to my plot.
Runner plant Rose of Sharon