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Definition of previous year's growth

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by Terry:

Many woody perennials and fruiting plants only produce flowers (and subsequent fruit) on the previous year's growth. This is important to know when pruning plants, as ill-timed pruning can result in no flowers (or fruit ) the following year.

Some examples of plants that produce on previous year's growth include some clematis and hydrangea species; raspberries; forsythia; honeysuckle; flowering quince; wisteria; althaea (Rose of Sharon); bridal-wreath spiraea, deutzia; lilac; and some roses, (and many others.)

On the other hand, some shrubs need to be lightly or even severely pruned to encourage new growth and blooms. A general guide is to consider when a plant normally blooms - the earlier it blooms, the more likely it is to bloom on the previous year's growth; if it blooms late summer or fall, it's more likely to need some pruning to encourage new growth each year.

If you must prune a plant that blooms on previous year's growth, make sure you prune immediately after blooming to avoid cutting off next year's flower buds.

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