A person pruning a hydrangea plant
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Why Pruning Your Garden In The Fall Is A Big Mistake
Pruning your garden in the fall might seem like a good way to tidy up and prepare plants for their dormant season, but it can actually do more harm than good.
In autumn, plants typically conserve energy in their roots to prepare for the winter months, and pruning can force them to divert this energy to heal the cuts instead.
This diversion can make them less resilient to winter stresses and can impede their growth in the subsequent spring. Moreover, freshly pruned branches and stems can be vulnerable.
The wounds made by pruning might not heal entirely before winter sets in, making them prime targets for pests and diseases, particularly in damp and cold conditions.
Plus, pruning can accidentally remove new growth, resulting in fewer buds in the spring. It can also stimulate new growth that doesn't have time to fully develop before the winter.
Pruning should be reserved for late winter or early spring, but if you notice any diseased or damaged branches, you can remove them in the fall to maintain your garden’s health.