The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Guest
Who is guest?

United Kingdom Gb

The garden of my new house was planted 7 years ago, but maintenance has been minimal for past 18 months. Shrubs now overgrown and blending into one another. What's the best and quickest way to identify all the shrubs, so I can find out what care they need, so I don't end up killing them off?



Take photos and put them on here.

alternatively this will help( scroll down the page to the bit where you can enter descriptions. I've found it very good

26 Oct, 2010


Hello, yes if you could post some pictures that would be great, but let me reasure you, all the shrubs can be brought back to their former glory, you have to be a liitle ruthless with them and nearly all of them should respond and of course you have to be patient, let me give you an example, take forsythia this could be really overgrown you could cut this right down to a couple of feet from the ground it will always respond, if you do it now then you will have no flowers in the spring, another example, take camelia imagine you have one thats got far to big for its position, i would enjoy the flowers in the spring then give it a severe hard prune, take it down by half and then the side branches, select a few here and there and cut by half, once these have responded then cut the rest by half, did this a couple of years back, cut one back by ten foot looks great now plenty of lush new foliage with plenty of flower buds for the spring, so dont be afraid, why not start in the spring regardless of what shrubs they are, if it means taking summer flowers off then so be it, it will give the shrubs chance to form a good framework and the summer to put up all the new growth, the following years the shrubs will look great.

26 Oct, 2010


Julien I am sorry but I must disagree with you. Not all overgrown shrubs can be cut back and respond well. Far better to know what they are and how to prune them properly.

26 Oct, 2010


Agree with Moongrower. You could join properly guest and post your pics for ID on here - then we, and thus you, would know what you could and couldn't do and when...

26 Oct, 2010


Not trying to be difficult here but have to disagree, apart from the odd exception, most shrubs i have pruned have always responded, i have been involved in gardening for nearly all my life, i do my own trials on most aspects of gardening and can assure you when it comes to hard pruning, nearly all the shrubs pruned always respond, i can only pass on what i have gained through hands on expierience, i will collate my pictures of some of the trials and post them on here of the trials, but please be patient i will post them at some point, regards julien.

27 Oct, 2010


It will be interesting to see but I know that not all shrubs will respond well to hard pruning - for example rhododendrons don't like it at all.

27 Oct, 2010


I Am sorry but totally disagree, i hard pruned three overgrown rhodis in June, they were aprox fifteen feet high, i pruned them, to within a couple of feet from the ground, after three weeks first signs of buds appeared, at five weeks bud break, at severn weeks shoots three inches, last week twelve to fifteen inches, so in aprox four months they are now all foliaged up and looking rather impresive, photos will follow to show this in the coming weeks, regards julien.

27 Oct, 2010


Well you have your opinion and I have mine...

27 Oct, 2010


Trouble is Julien, whilst I'm sure your experience is entirely accurately reported, in reality, it's a risk with some plants. I hardpruned a Camellia 2 years in June that had got too large for its situation. Now, you're not supposed to do it, but it was that or get rid of it, so we took a chance - and it worked, the Camellia survived and is very healthy. But it might not have coped, and might have died or become diseased, and, as such, a risk of which I informed the owner before carrying out the surgery. The fact that the Camellia survived and is healthy does not mean that I will be telling everyone else to be as hard as they like with their own Camellias - I will be telling them what should be done for a more or less guaranteed outcome, and then telling them what they can risk, if they want to, when they may, or may not, get away with it.

28 Oct, 2010


That is exactly my point Bamboo, we've pruned things and got away with it pruned others and haven't. But we were taking a risk with our own shrubs and we knew what the shrub was!

28 Oct, 2010


Yes i agree Bamboo, but i have many years of expierience of pruning a vast range of shrubs, and its through this expierience that makes you realise that what the books state is not always true, over the years i have pruned possibly hundreds of camellias/rhodis the results are always good and as i have mentioned i have done so many trials of my own involving pruning, and i am not trying to be mr cleverclogs here, its my passion my life and as all passionate gardeners know its great to share what you know.

30 Oct, 2010


It is, Julien, and I respect your experience - but nonetheless, when giving out advice to inexperienced others, it is necessary to mention the prescribed treatment, as well as any experience you may have yourself.
One of my customer had a new husband, and he cut back lavender plants, right back to 6 inches 2 years ago - surprisingly 4 of them survived this assault - but when he did it the second time (against my advice, of course) they all keeled over and never returned... Fact is, when dealing with living things, animal or plant, there is never a guaranteed outcome, just things that increase the likelihood of healthy survival.

31 Oct, 2010


Yes agreed bamboo, and if there were any photos of the shrubs mentioned in the original post then the prescribed treatment of how and when to prune these shrubs can be given and then its up to them if they are going to take the advice, but i will post some photos for moongrower to see the results of pruning rhodi,s.

2 Nov, 2010

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?