The Late Winter/Early Spring New Moon arrives 3 August. This signifies the beginning of the last month of Winter in coldest districts. While in mild subtropical climates and sheltered corners, this New Moon ushers in the embryonic beginnings of Spring and a host of early flowers. Days are getting a little longer and the Sun is returning. While these changes are subtle for us, all of Nature will be aware that Spring is approaching. Buds begin to swell as sap rises in dormant branches and resting perennials and birds prepare for nesting. It is time to prepare for Spring.
This New Moon is ascending (climbing higher) in Southern Hemisphere skies until 15 August. It is in ruling constellation of (sidereal Cancer) a most benevolent position. This will further stimulate the rising of sap and emergence of Spring blossom and growth. Liquid feeding during the morning hours onward until shortly after noon will be quickly drawn upward to feed emerging buds and new blossoms both in containers and in the ground.
As the week progresses, the Waxing Crescent Moon continues to rise in the evening sky. This represents the beginning of the Late Winter/Early Spring planting cycle. Moonlight will be increasing every night until the Full Moon (18 August). Sunlight is also increasing now that the Spring Equinox is less than two months away. These are the triggers Nature has been awaiting to start the emergence of Springtime growth.
Late Winter/Early Spring Planting Cycle Begins:
Now begins an ideal time for planting and sowing all manner of flowering plants; anything producing leafy top-growth and all vegetables that produce their crops above the ground. This is an important planting time for crops and flowers intended for Spring/Early Summer flowering and harvests.
Depending on your climate zone, this starts and excellent time through to the Full Moon (18 August) to plant all manner of flowering plants; anything producing leafy top-growth; plant and sow all vegetables that produce crops above ground; also bramble and cane fruit; ornamental and fruiting shrubs, trees, vines; plant flower seedlings and seed of all sorts but especially Annuals and hardy Perennials; also sow lawns and all sorts of fodder crops, grains and hay.
For Gardeners in mild and subtropical districts this New Moon is when the Early Spring Planting Cycle starts and the truly busy season begins! Prepare for this now and be ahead of the rest!
This is an important time for preparation. Put Winter dreams into constructive action plans for the Spring and Summer growing season ahead. In mild and subtropical climatic zones Spring weather may arrive several weeks or more ahead of the true celestial start of Spring. While in colder climates and drafty corners, wintery conditions can persist even after the celestial arrival of Spring. But because of this year’s benevolent Moon placement and the fact that the New Moon occurs near the beginning of the month and the same next month, it is very likely we will experience and Early Spring.
A wide range of seed can be sown for the gardens ahead under cover so the seedlings will be ready for planting-out once soil is much warmer in 6-8 weeks time. In the very warmest gardens or most sheltered corners many hardy varieties can be sown outdoors but they must be protected from chilling rains, cold drafts and freezing weather.
Stick to the hardiest varieties when planting or sowing outdoors into open ground. Seed will germinate fastest when sheltered from cold nights with protective cloches or frost cloth. Many Gardeners leave these in place until the weather has settled. By far the safest way is to sow under glass and with bottom heat and/or protection. This is how professional Growers start the full range of warm weather varieties of both flowers and vegetables for the warm season ahead. Seed almost always germinates much faster and most successfully in freely draining soil that remains consistently warm.
It is essential to guard that the seed and seedlings are never exposed to chilling drafts, cold temperatures, excessive wet soil or low light which will often result in disease, plant collapse or weak and useless plants. Just a few hours of chilling drafts are enough to kill a tender plant or seedling.
One of the biggest causes of failure of early germinated seed or later seedling collapse is insufficient light. Most garden plants need direct (full) sunlight and/or strong ultraviolet light to keep them healthy and strong, short and stocky. If ever due to insufficiently light, they draw upward and ‘stretch’ in an attempt to reach strong sunlight they will weaken. More than likely, these plants will ultimately fail or produce poor results.
Another problem is insufficient air circulation. Plants need moving air. Never chilling drafts or a windy environment; just freely circulating air. Air acts as a nature sterilant and also keeps the plants breathing properly. This keeps their tissues dry and greatly reduces the opportunity for blight, fungus and rot to become established. Whenever air is humid and still, fungal spores, especially of the damaging damp-off fungus, quickly multiply at ground level. The result is often rapid collapse of young seedlings.
Soil can be sterilized by baking it, pouring boiling water through it, drenching it in fungicide; even exposing it to a length period of strong sunlight. This will help eliminate fungal spores. But because fungal spores can be carried through the air, by insects, rodents or contaminated hands they can soon return.
Inadequate watering is another critical factor. Overwatering will almost certainly result in fungal attack or rot. Saturated soil also tends to remain colder which leads to root chilling and rot. It also can ‘drown’ roots by surrounding them in mucky soil, making it impossible for the plant to breathe properly. Under-watering is much easier to spot as the soil is obviously dry. If young plants ever wilt severely due to insufficient watering, their roots may callous or tissues harden or outright wither leading to stunted growth or plant collapse.
The best seed raising soil is light and peaty; often with extra sand added to insure good air circulation and good drainage while also retaining a moderately moist consistency.
What to Plant and Sow:
Plant hardy, reliable annual and perennial flowers and vegetables for the Spring and Summer and beyond. Wherever ground is workable plant a wide range of brambles and canes; fruit and nut trees and fruiting shrubs plus vines; ornamental shrubs, trees and vines; broad leafed evergreens; conifers; most hardy species native to Australia, the Mediterranean, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Coast regions of North and South America; Roses; Strawberries; Lilies and wide range of Summer-flowering bulbs (under shelter); groundcovers and just about anything else that appears to be hardy.
Flowers to Plant and Sow:
Acrolinium, Alyssum, Aquilegia, Arctotis, Aster, Calendula, California Poppy, Calliopsis, Carnation ,Canterbury Bells, Coneflower, Coreopsis, Cornflower, Delphinium Dianthus, Feverfew, Gaillardia, Godetia, Gypsophilla, Hollyhock, Larkspur, Linaria, Linum, Lobelia, Lunaria, Mignonette, Nasturtium, Nemesia, Nigella, Rudbeckia, Pansy, Phlox, Polyanthus, Poppies, Scabiosa, Snapdragon, Statice, Strawflower, Sunflower, Sweat Pea, Rudbeckia, Tanacetum, Viola, Violet, Viscaria Wildflower (most mixes and species) and hundreds more.
Until weather becomes warm and settled, plant only the hardiest varieties in open ground until certain that all danger of frost has passed. Brightest light and sustained warmth (especially in the soil) are essential for success!
Fertilize regularly to increase and induce accelerated growth rates and flowering in many garden plants like:
Anemone, Carnations, Cineraria, Delphinium, Dianthus, Iceland Poppy, Lupin, Pansy and Viola, Polyanthus, Primula, Ranunculus, Snapdragon, Stock, Violets and many more respond quickly and often quite impressively to feeding, especially foliar and liquid feeding.
They also respond, if a bit more slowly, to the spreading of bulb fertilizer around Spring annuals and bulbs. When applying dry fertilizer to stimulate flowering and growth, cultivate and water-in lightly to encourage a faster response. The fertilizer will help create stronger plants plus bulb development for next year’s blooms.
Tender Summer Flowers:
Almost all Summer flowering varieties can be started now with bottom heat in the glasshouse, sunroom, sunny windowsill, under glass or cold frame or very sheltered corner outdoors (cloches or evening protection advisable).
Ageratum, Amaranthus, Balsam, all varieties of Begonias, Dahlia, Celosia, Cleome, Coleus, Cosmos, Geranium, Gerbera, Gloxinia, tender Herbs like Basil and Coriander (Cilantro), Impatiens, Kochia, Marigold, Ornamental Peppers, Petunia, Salpiglossis, Salvia, Swam Plant, Tithonia, Zinnia and many more.
Vegetables to Plant and Sow:
Asparagus (crowns & seed), Beets, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage and Green Vegetables, Cress, Endive, Garlic, Gooseberry, hardy Herbs (assorted), Kohlrabi, Leaf Lettuce (assorted), Mustard, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Radish, Rhubarb (crowns & seed), Salsify, Shallot, Silverbeet, Spinach, Swede and Turnip.
This is an excellent time to sow hardy salad plants and especially Peas. Hardy Herbs (Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Sage, etc.) can be divided and replanted or started from seed.
Tender Vegetables to Start:
Capsicum, Choko, Eggplant, Heading Lettuce, Herbs (Basil, Dill, etc.), Kumara, Marrow, Melons, Hot Peppers, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Yam and others.
These must remain in sunny and warm positions at all times. Bottom heat is strongly advisable. Do not attempt to sow these outdoors until the soil is thoroughly warmed and they have attained a more substantial size.
In mild climates with freely draining soil they can be planted now. Or Potatoes can be sprouted now for later planting. Just set the ‘seed’ Potatoes in a seedling flat or even a bright windowsill. Let them sprout and once they do these tubers can be planted whole or cut into sections. When cut into sections, rub the exposed cuts in powdered charcoal or Flowers of Sulphur and let them ‘cure’ and dry out for at least a few hours before planting in an enriched, fully sunny and well drained vegetable plot or large container. Potatoes prefer rich soil but more importantly, perfect drainage and will often perform well in loamy land that dries out a little between rainfall and waterings. For this reason they are often planted in mounds of earth that are continually built up through their growing cycle.
Avoid lime of high pH soils with Potatoes as this encourages the development of scab diseases.
Kumara and Yam:
Kumara and Yam can be started now in a hot bed or warm glasshouse for planting out once weather conditions become warmer. These are often started from entire tuberous roots just like Potatoes or separated into pieces each containing at least one ‘eye’ shoot. These are partially immersed in a bed of peat and sand. Once sprouts appear and gain some size, they can be removed from the parent root and planted out or started in flats or small pots in a light potting mix or peat and sand. Keep these baby shoots lightly moist sunny and warm then plant them outdoors once the soil is thoroughly warmed. These are (sub) tropical crops demanding full sunshine, perfect drainage and warm conditions. Kumara tubers can grow quite deeply into loose and open soils which could make them difficult to dig and harvest. So the shoots are often planted in raised mounds over boards or sheet metal buried beneath that force the roots to remain near the surface for easy harvesting. In colder climates with lower soil temperatures consider placing a sheet of black plastic or Weedmat beneath the seedling tubers and/or over the bed. This works almost as well as boards but also heats up the soil for better harvests. Yams can be grown in large containers or tubs as well as in the ground very much like Potatoes. Being a member of the Oxalis Family, their Clover-like foliage is quite attractive and edible much like tender Kumara and Sweet Potato greens.
Herbs can be divided and replanted or started from seed. Tender Herbs like Anise, Basil and others should be started in the glasshouse or sunny windowsill and not planted out until all danger of frost has passed. Even hardy herbs like Coriander (Cilantro), Sage, Thyme and Parsley will germinate much faster when started indoors under glass with bottom heat. Herb seedlings must be grown under strong light or preferably direct sunlight so that they don’t stretch and weaken.
A wide variety of Perennial plants can be started from container plants or from seed. They can also be started from cuttings or by divided established plants.
Perennials to establish now include:
Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Asters, Begonia, Billbergia, Boltonia, Canna, Crinum, Dahlia, Echinacea (Cone Flowers), Eryngium (Sea Holly), Eucomis (Pineapple Lily), Gaillardia, Gazania, Geum, Hedychium (Ginger), Hemerocallis (Day Lily), Hosta, Hymenocallis, Japanese Iris, Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker), Lilies, Monarda, Montbretia, Nepeta, Nerine, Penstemon, Physostegia, Solidago (Goldenrod), Sprekelia, Streptocarpus, Tuberose, Zantedeschia, Zephyranthes (Rain Lilies) and many more species.
This is one of the best times to divide Phlox paniculata, and all forms of Chrysanthemum and Daisy, especially Shasta Daisy.
Delphinium crowns or pots grown on from seed started last Summer or Autumn can now be planted for flowering later in the Spring and Summer season. Seed can also be started now for Late Spring and Summer transplanting. Some dwarf varieties will flower this growing season. The most spectacular huge spiking varieties will probably bloom next year. Delphiniums enjoy cool to moderate climates but thrive in the warmer locations when planted in partial shade, especially morning sun or mulched to maintain a cool root-run. Plant Delphiniums in freely draining, loose soil enriched with compost, aged manure, lime and a complete food suitable for Dahlia or Tomato.
They prefer a sunny, sheltered spot for the most spectacular and stocky results. The tall-blooming varieties need staking against wind as blooms become top-heavy. This is especially important when grown in partly shaded positions as the stems are much more flimsy then and notoriously break just as the flowers begin to open. Always keep Delphiniums moist but never wet. This is especially important as bud spikes begin to develop and flowers open. Generous compost mulch, combined with frequent feeding and plenty of space between plants in a sunny spot creates big, impressive flower spikes.
Chrysanthemum divide easily at this time and cuttings strike quickly now and onward throughout the remainder of the month. Choose healthy, robust 8-10cm/3.2-5inch stems. Pinch out the tender growing tip and remove most leaves on the stem keeping only the top two. Plunge into a sand/peat mix in a large container or flat and keep them very bright (not sunny), humid, evenly moist and warm until roots form in a few weeks. Commercial Growers use a similar method but substitute a seedling flat for rooting box or mist chamber. Then once the cuttings have developed adequate roots, the young plants are transplanted into baskets, pots or the garden once weather settles.
Another way to start Chrysanthemum cuttings is in a single pot. First dip or dust each cutting in hormone gel/powder. Place (don’t push) each cutting into a dibble hole in a pot half filled with seed raising mix or sand/peat mix where the soil has been pre-moistened. Then fill in around each seedling with more mix and water in very lightly. Place the pot inside a plastic bag with a couple of drainage holes in its bottom. Bring up the sides of the bag to loosely cover over the pot. This creates a small terrarium. Place in a bright (but never hotly sunny) position. Keep warm and add a tiny spot of water occasionally if soil becomes dry. Cuttings should be ready to transplant within 4-6 weeks. Or simply grow them on in the same pot.
Chrysanthemum root cuttings also strike quickly now. Use the same procedure as outlined above. But this time dig up and select strong roots from around the plants’ crown. Carefully cut these roots away from the crown. When cutting way these roots, take careful notice as to the top and bottom of each root. Place these in the pot top-end-upward. Reduce their lower length if too long. Fill in over them so that the top of each root is barely covered with soil. Water in thoroughly and place them in the plastic bag and grow on as before. New Plants will emerge within a few weeks. They are ready to transplant once top growth is robust and growing strongly.
Other Cuttings to Start Now:
Many perennial herbaceous plants and herbs plus a variety of brambles and cane fruits, shrubs and trees plus vines can be reproduced in this same way especially now as new seasonal growth is about to begin. They are at their easiest to strike once sap has begun to rise in the stems and new buds are showing signs of swelling.
This is an excellent time to aerate, feed and seed lawns for the season ahead. This works best in sheltered sites and warmer climates. But some Gardeners even in colder climates often get started with this job now to capitalize on the entire growing season ahead.
Dichondra, a very good lawn substitute in sunny and mild climates, can be planted from plugs now throughout Spring or can be started in a warm place from seed.
Garden & Soil Preparation:
Prepare beds for Spring/Summer flowers and vegetables. Dig deeply, remove weeds, mix in complete plant food, compost, aged manure, etc. Let “cure” at least one week or longer before planting.
Gardens that have been planted with green manure cover crops to improve the land should have these cut down and dug in now. Blood and Bone, fertilizer and/or Lime can be added over the land and /or dug in at the same time. Leave the ground rough and allow the land to stand for at least one month before planting. Green manure combined with soil conditioners are extremely beneficial for quality vegetable crops like Corn, Okra, Pumpkins, Soybeans, Sunflowers and other heavy-feeding crops.
Fertilize fruit trees, cane fruits and ornamentals shrubs, trees and vines. Spray citrus, stone fruits, Grapes with copper or other fungicide
Spring Flowering Bulbs start to make their memorable début. Spring annual and perennial plantings around Spring flowering bulbs also should be carefully cultivated, fed and weeded. Always be extra careful working around emerging bulbs shoots as one wrong move can damage or cut off their tender emerging growth that would greatly damage or possibly kill them. Proper care and cultivation now insures healthy, rapid and strong growth without adverse competition. Be sure and lay Slug and Snail baits, too, as emerging buds and sometime foliage are a delicacy that, if eaten, destroys a lot of well-meant effort and the true glory of Spring.
Insure that excess water is draining away as it should. Add Gypsum and sand if any water is pooling after rainfall. Most bulbs need freely draining soil and will quickly root if ever water-logged.
To increase bulb multiplication, it is important to side-dress around bulbs with a good quality bulb fertilizer as shoots emerge and once again directly after flowering. A systemic liquid fertilizer can also be poured or sprayed over bulb foliage on an airy, mild and sunny day to help build up mineral content in the foliage. This will greatly benefit bulb health and increase numbers later in the season.
Summer Bulbs, Root and Tubers become available for purchase. Existing clumps can also be dug and divided. Wherever the ground is workable, many can be planted now.
Included here would be such classics as:
Arum, Canna, Crinum, Dahlia, Eucomis (Pineapple Lily), Galtonia (Cape Hyacinth), Gladioli, Hymenocallis (Ismene), Lily, Montbretia, Sprekelia (Jacobean Lily), Valotta, Zephyranthes and many more.
Others like Caladium, Hippeastrum, Tuberose, Tuberous Begonia, hybrid Zantedeschia and other tender Summer flowers can be started in small pots in a warm and bright location for transplanting out once weather thoroughly warms in a couple of months.
Dahlia tubers are best planted now for early blooms in climates where freezing is no longer a problem. The tubers will usually produce their first flowers approximately 90-100 days after planting. They can also be started in containers for later transplanting. By holding some tubers back, a succession of blooms can be obtained all season. There is no hurry, as the finest Autumn-flowering Dahlias are often planted during the first month of Summer.
Dahlias are easily multiplied by breaking off a mature tuber from the entire cluster. Most successful are firm and stocky tubers with a short ‘neck’ and at least one ‘eye’ attached. Typical clusters can contain 4 to 20 or more tubers; each potentially producing a new Dahlia plant. Alternatively, a single tuber or the entire cluster can be started in a container placed in the sunny glasshouse. Once shoots appear, cut these and strike them as cuttings in a bright, humid and warm environment. Early cuttings taken now often bloom later the first season.
Gladioli can be planted now wherever freezing weather has finished and the ground is draining well and warming. They prefer loose, open soil that is rich but always drains thoroughly. They prefer full sunshine and need protection from strong winds. Staking is often necessary as blooms often become top-heavy and snap during stormy weather right at blooming time. To induce earlier blooms, a gladioli bed can be covered with a sheet of clear plastic or polycarbonate sheeting. Weigh it down so that it does not come loose in strong winds. This will allow strong sunlight and heat to warm the soil and speed shoot development. Once shoots emerge, remove the sheeting so growth is not distorted. Early planting often helps overcome the problem of Gladioli rust. Gladioli rust can be controlled with the application of an appropriate systemic fungicide. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, most of the most effective ones have now been eliminated from public sale by government interference.
Fruiting and Ornamental Species: Brambles and Canes, Shrubs, Trees, Vines:
Complete the Winter planting of bare root deciduous fruit, nut and ornamental shrubs and trees; also Roses, fruiting brambles and canes plus vines. Container specimens of all sorts can be successfully planted now through Spring. Bare-root specimens can be planted successfully up until the time when early flower and leaf buds begin to open. Even after that they will sometimes survive transplanting but may require additional and frequent misting and watering combined with foliar feeding to get them established.
Cymbidium Orchids and many (sub) tropical Orchid species and varieties should be showing signs of buds or flowering. Give them a light but regular feeding each week with a complete soluble plant food made specifically for flowering. This will be one high in Phosphorous and Potassium with somewhat less Nitrogen.
Orchid bud spikes can be very brittle, especially during cold damp weather. Be very careful when moving them or working amongst their growth as just one sharp jolt can instantly snap off a year’s worth of flowering growth! Be sure to carefully and gently stake each spike securely as even its full weight when overloaded with flowers can cause fragile stems to bend or break.
Keep a vigilant watch and guard emerging Orchid bud spikes against attack by Caterpillar, Slugs and Snails which can disfigure blooms with a single bite. Unlike many other flowering plants, most Orchid buds emerge naked without protection of the petals as the bud itself is made of the closed petals. Thus even the slightest damage to any bud results in permanent disfigurement of the opening bloom.
Orchid plants that refuse to flower can sometimes be coaxed to produce buds or earlier flowers by liquid feeding using a formula high in Phosphorous and Potash in luke-warm water. Orchids with dark, glossy green leaves that remain non-flowering are possibly growing in too dark a position. Move the Orchid to a brighter and warmer position in stronger morning sunshine or dappled light but avoid scalding sunshine. When sunlight is too strong, leaves may be stunted, yellowish green or display obvious spots of scalding on their most exposed surfaces. When Orchid plants are too dry, hot and sunny, they often produce, small, weak foliage that slowly declines. Water only moderately on mild, sunny days preferably in the morning. This provides time for plants to dry out before falling night temperatures can chill them.
After the New Moon (15 August), start pruning to shape Conifers, hedges and ornamental shrubs, trees and vines. Avoid heavy pruning of Spring flowering species laden with flower buds or lose their blooms. Complete pruning of fruit trees and vines (especially Grapes) before signs of new growth, otherwise rising sap can “bleed” through wounds weakening the plant.
Encourage the Birds:
Birds begin nesting now so encourage them to stay with regular feeding and shelter. While some nest in trees many prefer the tangle of large shrubs or thick hedges, while others choose the eaves of a house, shed or special nesting boxes. Whatever site is chosen, it must be predator-proof and out of extremes of inclement weather. A regular source of food and water is essential. Many Birds are protein feeders so need access to cultivated, open beds or compost piles to find worms plus will gladly strip the garden of unwanted aphids, beetles, caterpillars and other insects. Many will be grateful for extra feeding as chicks begin to grow. Providing Finch and Sunflower seed or a mixed Bird seed will be a great help. They also enjoy fat or suet which can be mixed with seed and made into cakes or hung in mesh bags. Many will enjoy bread and Silvereyes enjoy banana. Even the common Sparrow can eat a tremendous number of insects in a single day. This insures a cleaner garden and eliminates the need for insecticidal spraying.
To encourage New Zealand native birds and introduced species to remain in your garden, plant dense groves of shrubs and trees. The thicker the tangle, the better as this protects them from predation by Cats and to some degree from rodents. Planting flowering species filled with nectar (Abutilon, Callistemon, Cherry and most New Zealand native species) will also entice them to remain in your garden. Some birds eat fruit and almost all eat insects.
Watch Your Back!
Snails also begin to breed with the milder conditions. So be prepared! Slugs and Snails can destroy emerging seedlings, shoots and an entire crop overnight. Start laying baits now in “safe” places so only Snails eat it! These pests will be become especially active during balmy and mild evenings after rain. Almost all of them are out during the evening light around the three Spring Full Moons. The next Full Moon is (18 August) is an essential time to have baits in place everywhere and catch most of the adult population before they can breed a new generation. If this opportunity is missed, legions of tiny Slugs and Snails may be an unfortunate reality for the remainder of the growing season. Be sure to hide baits from Birds and pets and pick up Slug and Snail carcasses immediately before they are eaten and so poison the unsuspecting
Ants and Aphids begin to appear as the weather moderates. Before they spread, plant cloves of Garlic nearby ant nests or wherever aphids appear on plants. The smell offends them and they will often retreat. Aphids can easily be eliminated by pinching and squashing with the fingers or sprayed with any number of insecticides as well as simple soapy water.
Fungal attack and the spread of blights, disease and rot will become widespread if conditions remain mild but excessively cloudy and damp. Spraying with an appropriate fungicide or Copper spray may be necessary.
Prune and Shape:
Roses, deciduous fruit/ornamental/nut shrubs and trees, hedges, vines plus brambles and canes are ideally pruned and shaped now before new growth begins. As much as 1/3-1/2 of old growth can be removed without significantly reducing the impeding harvest but removing too much can reduce this year’s flowering and crops. Anything likely to become diseased as the season progresses should be sprayed now to avoid contamination later in the season.
Lightly prune Feijoa, Passion Fruit and Tamarillo now. This is nearing the final time to prune back Grape and many other fruiting shrubs and trees without the risk of sap bleeding.
Conifers, Broad-leafed Evergreens and most plant species native to Australia, the Mediterranean, New Zealand and South Africa can also be pruned and shaped. The exceptions are those that produce flower buds at their growing tips like Camellia, Daphne, Leucadendron, Pieris japonica, Protea and Rhododendron, etc. There is no problem pruning these also, especially if they need corrective shaping, but some Spring flowers will be removed. Anything pruned now will tend produce abundant and bushy new growth rather quickly.