Pruning and Trimming


You will need to tidy up and cut back alpines and rock garden plants regularly in order to maintain their healthy growth and compact shape.

Remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood from rock garden shrubs and woody perennials with secateurs or sharp scissors. Most dwarf shrubs are slow-growing and so do not require severe pruning - lightly prune periodically, keeping to the natural shape of the plant.

In early spring, cut back any plants that have begun to encroach on their neighbours. Pull mat-forming plants out by hand, or use a hand fork for other plants. Renew the top-dressing of hard-pruned plants with a balanced fertilizer in order to promote healthy new growth.

Using secateurs, scissors or a sharp knife, remove all dead flowers and leaves - you may need to use tweezers for small plants. Genera such as Arabis, Aubrieta, and Aurinia will benefit from hard annual pruning after flowering; this may even encourage them to produce a second flush of flowers. Helianthemum species also need clipping with shears every year after flowering; cut their stems back by about half their length to keep them compact and to produce a good crop of flowers the following year.