Winter is the time to prune everything back right? Wrong. Your plants actually require two major trims a year. The majority of plants flower and grow the most from the start of spring to the end of summer each year.
As they grow their water and nutrition requirements increase until they peak during summer – Perths hottest months, with the least water and nutrients available to plants. Leaves yellow off, flowers drop prematurely and the plant goes into survival mode, trying desperately to conserve resources.
Summer is when our plants need our help the most. They breathe a sigh of relief when we prune them back, and we are rewarded with a second flush of flowers and lush growth – even in the peak of summer when water and nutrients are scarce.
By pruning the plants overall new growth to half we are reducing the water and nutrient load required by the plant – precisely when it needs it most. The plant stops trying to survive and starts to actively grow again.
So does this mean I don’t need to prune in winter? No, your plants still need to be winter pruned but it’ll be a lot easier on you, because you’ve already done half the work in summer! Winter is still the best time to give all non-native plants a major clean up and renew them for next season. But by pruning in summer you'll prolong the flowering season for your plants, and they'll be a lot healthier - which means less work for you.