Which flowers should you prune in your garden? – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Worried that cutting flowers from your garden to enjoy indoors might stop your flowering outdoors? Well, that depends more on the plants. There are some flowers that depend on you cutting them in the summer so you have a longer flowering season, says Leigh Hunt, head gardener at the RHS.

“Annual plants have a purpose in life – to flower and set seed, which they must do before they die. They are in a hurry because if they don’t plant seeds, they won’t produce offspring that will carry on the next generation of plants. It’s like a survival instinct.”

Pruning these plants triggers “a hormonal response that tells the plant that it hasn’t managed to set seed, so it needs to grow more buds,” explains Hunt. “As long as we keep the plants well watered so they have the resources, they will produce more buds.

“In a way, heat speeds up seed ripening time, and if the plant gets dry, it will rush to set seed and stop putting its energy into flowering.”

There are some of the best garden flowers to cut…

Cut sweet peas further to encourage more flowers (Alamy/PA)

These fragrant climbing favorites need regular pruning before they set seed and produce pods that look like sugar snap peas. “You can often get sweet pea flowers from June through September if you keep picking them,” notes Hunt. “Also keep the soil moist but not soggy to keep it moving.”

Not cutting the flowers signals the plant that the cycle is almost over and it will die off fairly early as the pods form with the seeds inside, he explains. “If you don’t pick them, the lifespan of the plant and the length of the display will be reduced.”

If you forget to cut them and see pods forming, they will be thrown back. But if you remove the pods and the flowers, they should start producing more buds, says Hunt. “Leave it too long and they’ll die off weeks earlier than they would have.”

These pretty daisy-like annuals with delicate, thin foliage will produce more flowers if you prune them.

“They can now get pink, white, red, and even yellow, and they’re producing masses of yellow-centered buds,” says Hunt. “You can also get doubles that offer real color mixing. They can be sown directly into the ground at this point and will grow quite quickly.”

Yellow Rudbeckias and Asters (Alamy/PA)

“These are again daisy plants with apricot, marmalade, and yellow hues that continue to flower after pruning,” adds Hunt.

“Rudbeckia loves the heat and will thrive in warm conditions. There are some perennials, such as Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, that may not show this continuity of flowers when cut, but will come back year after year.”

“They’re bought as bulbs and are perennials, but you often grow them like annuals and plant them out in late May because they’re tender,” says Hunt. “You will produce more flowers if you cut them.”


“You can get a really vibrant mix of colors from these flowers, pink, purple, lemon and white. They have big pom-pom daisy-like blooms that bloom well into September,” Hunt says of these pretty picks. “They add color later in the season, and while the first blooms are best for cutting, you get smaller secondary blooms in the fall.”

Many roses carry the label “multiple flowering” – but that doesn’t mean that they immediately replace one flower with another when pruned.

“Returning roses often come in spurts. You usually get three or four flushes in a season. But they can definitely be cut,” says Hunt. “If you’re dead it will encourage the next flush of blooms, but the time between flushes is basically the same. Most gardeners prune roses anyway to encourage flowering in the next bloom.”

Some plants, like lupins, will produce a much less pronounced bud burst after cutting. If you want to cut plants like Cornflowers and Love in the Mist, sow a small amount two to three weeks apart and they will mature at different times. You might end up cutting off all the flowers and they won’t return, but you’ll still have some flowers from later seedings, Hunt advises.

Any other signs that a plant needs pruning?

“When the petals start falling off, they need to be cored,” says Hunt. “You’re not necessarily looking for a big pod. With rudbeckia, the petals start to change color or fall off at the edge, the same goes for dahlias, and at the end a pointed green piece is left, which is the shell that held those petals.”

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