Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Pruning camellia with hedging shears

Pruning Camellia’s with hedging shears

Why do we prune plants?

  • For plant health – to remove dead, damaged and diseased wood and branches
  • To clear pathways and entrances
  • For aesthetic purposes like topiary and hedging
  • To ensure better flowering or fruiting
  • Thinning to increase air flow and light


Best time to prune?

Late winter-early spring is generally the best time to prune woody and deciduous plants. The wounds created from your pruning will heal well during the spring when the sap begins to move again. This is also the best time to do major trimming for your hedges. Some plants, such as Azaleas and Hydrangeas can be pruned after they finish flowering, which is usually winter when the leaves are beginning to fall off

On the other hand, trees such as Birches and Maples will often heavily bleed during the winter if pruned. It does not cause harm to the plant but can be quite unsightly. It is said that the best time to prune these heavy bleeders is when they are in full leaf and the sap is no longer flowing so easily. This would be late spring-early summer.

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Standard Rose before pruning and Standard Rose after being pruned

Pruning roses. Cut back to 3-4 branches with buds

Some flowering shrubs, such as the rose bush, benefit from another summer prune to bring about a second flush of blooms. Hedges are also trimmed again during the summer to maintain their shape and height


Know your plant

Different plants require different pruning methods and it is vital to the plant’s health and future that you know! A proficient gardener will get to know the plants in their garden and their needs, which, in turn, will create a magnificent garden for you to be proud of.


Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Pruing tools Secateurs loppers pruning saw gloves shears

Pruning tools: Loppers, Secateurs, Shears, Pruning Saw & Gloves




  • Secateurs
  • Loppers
  • Shears
  • Pruning Saw
  • Gloves



Key points whilst pruning:

  • Prune at approximately a 45 degree angle – this angle prevents water resting on top of the cut and rot setting into the cut.


  • Always prune back to a bud. If you prune in the middle of the stem, it will just die back to the next bud, creating an ugly dead piece, which would be a perfect spot for disease and fungus to set in. But also remember, don’t prune too close to the bud as that can damage it and harm the chances of regrowth.



  • Make sure your tools are clean. You may be pruning multiple plants during your day and one may have a disease you’re unaware of. Without cleaning your tools you could unknowingly transfer that disease to a few of your plants.


  • Keep your tools sharp – like knives in the kitchen, sharp secateurs and loppers create cleaner cuts. Cleaner cuts are easier and quicker to heal.


  • Stand back from your project – it is always best to monitor your progress by inspecting the plant from a small distance, as that’s where you’re generally going to see the plant from plus you will see what needs to be corrected much easier from here.


  • If you’re unsure, don’t cut off too much – Pruning takes a lot of practice. In the case of hedging it is best to lightly trim so you can easily see and correct any mistakes. You can always come back next season and correct any mistakes after it has had time to repair. In the case of fruit trees, if you cut off too much you may not get fruit that year!