Pruning is done for neatness and form, to curb natural damage and pest infestation, to tame, to allow in more light, for aesthetic reasons, but mostly to encourage dense growth and a better harvest of leaves, flowers and fruit.
You can start pruning deciduous shrubs and trees for neatness and shape at the end of the month. Do not prune those that will flower in spring such as Cape mays (Spiraea), mock oranges, prunus and wild pears (Dombeya rotundifolia).
- Regularly pinch back winter annuals like pansies, violas and snapdragons to promote bushy growth and more flowers.
- Clean up old leaves of overgrown axes, cordylines and palm trees.
- Conifers grow actively in winter and can be lightly sheared to encourage denser foliage.
- Cut back ornamental veld grasses such as pennisetum hybrids, muhly grasses, Aristida juncea and zebra grasses.
Start rose pruning towards the end of the month, and ‑ finish in August.
- Others to prune now are Chinese lanterns, hibiscuses, plumbagos, owering pomegranates, santolinas, solanums, Cape honeysuckles, bush violets, barberries, durantas, ribbon bushes and canary creepers.
- Start pruning vines and deciduous fruit trees such as prunes, apricots, pears and apples at the end of June – peach trees are thinned out later and when in blossom.
- Prune raspberry canes that have borne fruit down to ground level.
- Prune gooseberries by simply cutting everything in half or even lower down.
- Tame granadillas close to ground level.
- Prune shrubs like poinsettias, buddlejas, heliotropes, golden showers, wild daggas and hydrangeas.
- Prune and shape camellias only when they have stopped flowering.