What and How to Prune in February

pruning. A wheelbarrow full of garden cuttings

February feels like an in-between time for many, the end of winter and the first hints of spring! Whilst we can’t wait for the warm sun and brighter days so we can get out into the garden and begin planting, there are plenty of things to be doing in February – pruning being the biggest! Garden plants benefit a lot from pruning. Shrub pruning generally occurs during February or winter, mainly because plants are dormant in the said season. Pruning helps achieve the primary goal of promoting vigour. Besides, such a practice can also help ensure that fruit trees’ growths are productive, and shrubs do not outgrow their space. 

When plants are dormant, it is also an excellent time to perform pruning to revive plants that can grow too big and stop producing fruit. Winter pruning also assists in disease control or prevention. 

 The following is a list of plants that would need pruning during the month of February and how to tend to such plants.   


When pruned, grapevines are woody, deciduous plants that release sap. It is essential to prune cut stems when they are deeply dormant in the middle of winter, as bleeding from cut stems can weaken the plant. Cut back to a central "rod," or arm, that extends vertically along support wires. 


This plant must be pruned twice throughout the year, once in winter and then in summer. The practice keeps its growth in check and encourages flowering.   

One should cut back all side shoots to three or four buds in the winter. Then, the following summer, reduce all whippy projections to thirty centimetres. 


Prune climbers, including ornamental vines, Ivy, Virginia Creeper, and Boston Ivy. Avoid placing them near windows, doors, gutters, or roof tiles. 

Apple and Pear Trees 

One should prune apples and pears to encourage fruiting from November to mid-March. 

Pruning will encourage a fruitful harvest by directing energy toward the remaining buds. The shape you want to achieve is a wine glass with branches that are evenly spaced and rise from the trunk in a circle around a hollow centre. Remove any dead, infected, or crossing branches while removing any shoots at the base. 

Autumn-Fruiting Raspberries 

Trimming all autumn-fruiting raspberries’ canes from autumn to late winter to within five centimetres of the ground. As a result, promoting them to sprout new stems that will bear fruit in autumn. 

Deciduous Shrubs 

Winter is an excellent time to trim deciduous shrubs, especially those that grow too big for their space. Plants like Cotinus, Berberis, and Magnolias, grow large and eventually stop producing fruit. One can revive this through pruning. 


Living Windows offer all Londoners a hand when it comes to gardening, regardless of whether you have a two-acre garden or windowsill planter! Taking care of plants is known to be beneficial physically and mentally, and we strive to provide such an experience to everyone. For gardening advice, tools and gifts visit our website or visit us at our Hackney City Farm garden centre!   




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