|The Large Winter Flowering Honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, (Before Pruning)|
Last mentioned in the blog two months ago, see blog entry for the 9th February 'Sensory Overload From The Winter Flowering Shrubs', the fragrant flowers of the winter flowering honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, have faded indicating that it is now time for it to be pruned. Pruning had been planned for a few weeks ago but the first pollinating insects to have emerged were still visiting it to feed on the few flowers that remained.
|The Flowers Have Faded, Time For A Prune!|
With all the flowers now faded, and having checked the shrub to see if the blackbirds were not nesting in it this year which they are not, the pruning took place this morning.
|The First Cut|
|Pruning The Honeysuckle|
Over the last 10-15 years this honeysuckle has had an annual light prune to keep it tidy but this has created a large, woody shrub with very few young stems, the majority of the stems are old with leaf on just the top 1-2 foot below which is bare. This growth and lack of young stems gave rise to the long overdue decision to prune it hard back to rejuvenate it. Using secatuers, loppers and saws the shrub was cut down to 2-3 feet, hopefully it will respond to this pruning by producing strong new stems and flower on the new wood grown this summer, only time will tell if this brave decision was not too harsh.
|Four Bags Full|
|Cut Low Down To Create New Young Stems|
|Layered Plants Potted Up|
Whilst pruning the honeysuckle it was found that it had layered itself, some low stems had bent down and rooted in to the ground so were dug up and potted. New growth was also collected and used for cuttings which are now in the greenhouse mist unit where, it is hoped, they will root.