Why is this...?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Mondomondo, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Mondomondo

    Mondomondo Apprentice Gardener

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    'As the growing season progresses, a plant’s response to pruning changes, with its response becoming less vigorous after the midpoint of summer.'

    The Royal Horticultural Society. RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored (p. 163)


    Could anyone explain to me why this is? I would have assumed the response would have been the same until the beginning of colder weather
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Presumably because the initial rush of sap rising slows down after spring and new growth slows.
    Leaves turn darker green and get tougher.
    Most plants have pretty much got seasonal growth in their genes, its part of their make up, well hardy plants anyway.
     
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    • lolimac

      lolimac Keen Gardener

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      Plants are very clever,they know to ease off best part of the way through their growing year so as not to succumb to the winter perils.
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Depends on the plants too...don’t forget we grow plants from all over the world and they all respond accordingly.
        For example, aeoniums do most of their growing in the cooler autumn and winter months :)
         
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        • NigelJ

          NigelJ Total Gardener

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          Day length has a lot to do with it. As the days shorten after midsummer the plant begins to prepare for winter and the next spring so for example flower buds begin to form, bulbs (onions are a good example) and tubers begin to swell.
           
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          • Mondomondo

            Mondomondo Apprentice Gardener

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            Some great answers there thanks!
             
          • Mondomondo

            Mondomondo Apprentice Gardener

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            So say i were to prune hard something deciduous, say cotinus for example, without waiting until dormancy. The plant detects the longer nights towards the back end of summer and slows growth to instead focus on replenishing its energy stores to prepare for autumn/winter. Would I be causing it harm as i'm cutting away its ability to photosynthesise right at the point were it had already used most of its energy reserves and needed to produce and reserve them? (Plus any stored energy in the leaves would now be wasted)

            All the guidelines say to wait until the majority of deciduous plants are dormant before pruning hard and i'm beginning to understand why, but in practice a lot of plants seems to bounce back anyway, whats going on within the plant when this happens?
             
          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            @Mondomondo
            Tread carefully all shrubs are different as @Verdun said they come from all round the world. pruning is often done after a shrub has flowered or fruited eg philadelphus, deutzia, rubus or when they are dormant. Others are pruned after the winter as the new growth might be damaged by frost.
            Having said that you would probably get away with it, I would always look up advice for the particular shrub if I wasn't sure.
            Cotinus is something that needs little pruning, normally, removing dead, diseased, crossing branches and branches growing the wrong way.
             
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