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What plants need pruning in January? These plants you should cut now!

In winter, most plants are less active than in the fall. No leaves or flowers, however, does not mean that there is no gardening now. A maintenance pruning in January is recommended for certain plants right now. We list the plants that can benefit from winter pruning.

Which plants can be pruned in January?

Roses in winter cutting tips

Prune most plants after the permafrost has passed. In this way, frost damage can be avoided. However, there are plants that tolerate pruning in January better than pruning in March. This is because they are in what is called dormancy during the winter. This means that the process of water transport has stopped for a certain period. Moreover, in winter there is hardly any possibility for fungal spores and bacteria to multiply. Therefore, the cut wounds can heal better, and then the plant is less susceptible to various pathogens. Spring pruning is also an option for various houseplants.

Prune winter jasmine now

False jasmine, still known as winter jasmine, is severely pruned in January. The shoots are cut to 40 inches above the ground. Young plants under 2 years of age do not require pruning. From the third year, a gentle pruning can be done, at which time the plant is brought into the desired shape. From the fourth year, shoots are shortened to encourage flowering and growth.

Pruning in January: Forsythia

Forsythia cut back in January instructions

Forsythia also needs a rejuvenating pruning in winter. This should be done before the flowering period. If you prune your plant while it is still in January, you will then give it plenty of time to recover. Only leave up to five main shoots. All others are cut off close to the ground. The remaining shoots are left at different heights. They will then vigorously overgrow and branch in the spring. However, flowering will not occur for one, or in many cases, two years. Young plants do not need pruning in January, older woody plants need such radical pruning every three – to four years.

When to cut the roses? Only after the forsythia forms flowers

For roses, the timing of pruning can vary greatly depending on weather conditions. Pruning in January may exceptionally be considered if the winter is very mild. Forsythia can serve as a guide – if the shrub forms its flowers, then you can also cut back the rose plants in the garden. But this is usually done only in early March.

Give amaryllis a cut after flowering

Amarylis cutting in January after flowering

Amaryllis blooms beautifully in December. From January, however, the flower begins to wither. By mid-February at the latest, the flowers will fall off. This is also the right time to cut the stems with the flowers close to the ground. The leaves remain standing.

Winter pruning for willows

Pollarded willows tolerate topiary in winter quite well – you can also perform it in January. They are very hardy woody plants that don’t mind frost and recover well after a January pruning. They then usually sprout vigorously and form a dense crown.

However, the harlequin willow is somewhat more sensitive to frost, so it is cut at the end of February . Weeping willows are cut only after the end of the flowering period. However, since it is forbidden from March the strong pruning, you can only gently thin out the weeping willow and give it a topiary.

Prune elder bush and elder tree from the end of January.

Elder bush pruning in January


As a rule, the most favorable time for a caring pruning is in late autumn. However, if you have missed this, you can also prune the woody plant in January. In this case, the new shoots that the elder has formed in the previous year are left. Old wood is cut off. Shrubs that have already been pruned in the fall can be additionally shaped into the desired cone shape in January. For this purpose, choose a central shoot and shorten the other shoots accordingly, so that the typical conical shape is formed.

Pruning in January: fruit trees

Fruit trees cutting in winter tips

We have already listed in our article regarding fruit trees three trees that are pruned in January: Apple, pear and quince . But there are other fruit trees that can benefit from pruning in winter.

Apricot tree: make corrective pruning in winter.

Like all other deciduous trees, the apricot tree is leafless in winter. Then, of course, it’s easier to spot ailing, inward-growing or weak branches. Also removed the so-called water shoots (very thin branches that grow upwards and do not form fruits, flowers and leaves).

Also prune the plum tree only lightly

Unlike other fruit trees, a plum tree tolerates only light pruning that requires maintenance. In this case, January is also recommended, mainly because the tree will have shed its leaves by then and you can better see the diseased branches. It is mainly old trees that are rejuvenated, removing the horizontal branches.

Pruning in January: currants bushes.

Currants are usually pruned in late January to late February. Young plants, that is, shrubs under three years old, are only shortened in the process. After that, only the old wood is removed, and one-year-old fruit-bearing shoots – left standing.