Gardening in April




Now is the time to prune, cut back and trim many plants and shrubs such as:

  • Wisteria – to summer side-shoots, 2 or 3 buds.
  • Summer-flowering Clematis – towards the end of the month, before active growth begins.
  • Cornus and Salix cultivars – down to their bases.
  • Ornamental grasses – to within a few centimetres of the ground, before growth begins.
  • Overwintered fuchsias – back to 1 or 2 buds on each shoot.
  • Winter Flowering Jasmine – after flowering cut previous years growth to 5cm from old wood.
  • Winter flowering shrubs such as Mahonia and Viburnum x bodnantense when their colourful display has finished.
  • Cut back last year’s Buddleia to ground level.
  • Trim winter-flowering Heathers as the flowers die off will prevent the plants from becoming leggy.
  • Remove faded flowers from winter pansies – will stop them setting seed and encourage a flush of new flowers in the warmer weather.
  • Lift and divide snowdrops still ‘in the green’ – will create more plants and allow you to move them elsewhere.
  • Move deciduous trees or shrubs, provided the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.

Lift, divide and plant new plants:

  • Lift and divide large clumps of hosta.
  • Lilies and Allium bulbs.
  • Bare root roses – plant in a sunny position.
  • Fragrant winter flowering shrubs such as Daphne, Viburnum x bodnantense, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) and Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox).
  • Trim winter-flowering jasmine and tie in new shoots to supports

   To add interest:

  • Pot on or plant Hardwood cuttings taken last year.
  • Pot on rooted cuttings of tender perennial plants taken last summer.
  • Look out for Hellebore leaf spot (rounded brown spots on the leaves) and remove any leaves that are affected.
  • Sprinkle granular fertiliser around clumps of spring bulbs
  • Cut down all previous year’s growth on Clematis tangutica. New shoots will develop from the base, which will flower later in summer