How and when to prune Escallonia hedge
Escallonia is a genus with 147 species of flowering plants belonging to the Escalloniaceae family. This evergreen shrub can reach up to two meters high, this together with its dense foliage makes it an excellent option to create hedges of protection. Its flowers are given in panicles, they are small and can be pink, red or white. The petals have curved tips and can be separated or joined. The inflorescence is bell-shaped and is grouped in corsages, giving away a mild honey aroma. In this article we will not attempt to make clear everything that concerns the pruning of the Escallonia (how and when to do it). In addition we will take the time to leave some basic care that you must carry out so that this plant remains healthy and strong.
If you read to the end you will learn the best techniques for proper pruning, the right time to trim and the tools to do it. The article has no waste, I assure you. 😉
Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.
Table of Contents
1. How to care Escallonia plant
Let’s start by analyzing the care that is necessary to carry out in this bush, because although the pruning of the Escallonia is the main theme of the post, it does not stop being a maintenance technique.
- Location: ideally, place it in a sunny place or in the middle shade
- Reproduction: it reproduces by cuttings during the autumn as long as it is offered a rich and non-calcareous soil.
- Soil: he prefers them rich and fluffy, but the most important thing is that the soil has good drainage because it is not a species that needs too much moisture.
- Cold: In areas of cold and rigorous winters you will have to plant them in protected places, either against walls or walls, or, you will have to provide an annual protection against frost if you want to enjoy its flowering.
- Irrigation: An irrigation every three days will be balanced and it is also recommended to add a fertilizer during the coldest seasons of the year such as autumn and winter.
- Pruning: although pruning is not a care on which the life of the Escallonia depends, we will see below it is key to keeping it tidy by beautifying your garden better.
2. Tools needed to prune or trim a Escallonia shrub
There are several tools that you will need to prune this bush. Each of them is appropriate for different cases depending on age, time of year, type of pruning, etc.
- Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears.
- Lopping Shears: It is suitable to use on stems between half inch and 2 inches in diameter.
- Hedge Shears: Manual and power shears are available for trimming hedges. Manual shears have long, flat blades with relatively short handles and are good for small jobs. Electric shears are a good choice for larger hedges.
Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your Escallonia. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.
2.1 Needed care of pruning tools
If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.
- Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
- Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
- Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
- Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.
Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂
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3. Pruning Escallonia hedge bush – How to prune
As we said, the article Escallonia is a genus with about 150 species, this makes the advice we give here are general. So and all these perennial shrubs have similar pruning requirements, and we will develop these below.
Among the large number of species that we will cover with the pruning tips is the Escallonia apple blossom, as well as Escallonia iveyi, Escallonia leucantha, Escallonia rubra, etc.
Next we will see three pruning that you need to carry out in the Escallonias, they are:
- Pruning maintenance and cleaning
- Pruning to shape the hedge
You will see that in general what we are looking for with these pruning is to improve the appearance of the shrub, that is, they are pruned with aesthetic objectives.
3.1 Pruning maintenance and cleaning
This is the pruning that is carried out to both eliminate diseased, damaged branches and unwanted growth in shrubs with dense foliage. By removing these leftover branches, it will expose the remaining branches to more air and sunlight and improve the structure and definition of the plant.
As I always say, before starting to cut back, take some time to analyze the plant carefully, then you should eliminate the following:
- Begin to trim the branches completely dry, will help the aesthetics of the plant.
- If you find branches attacked by a plague or disease, it is time to cut it.
- If you see branches with a bad orientation or crossed that do not go hand in hand with the shape of your shrub cut them.
Whenever possible, make the cuts just above an outbreak. For plants with sprouts arranged alternately (with a bud higher on one side than the other), make angled cuts upward from the bud. For plants with buds arranged directly in front of each other, make a flat cut at a right angle to the stem, just above a pair of shoots.
Once the pruning is finished, you should study what to do with the waste. If you have not cut sick or attacked by pests, you can use them in your garden (for example, compost), otherwise try to remove such waste from the garden to avoid spreading diseases or pests to other plants.
3.2 Pruning to shape the Escallonia hedge
When we have a bush in our garden, it is attractive to give it a shape that looks aesthetically good. In the case of Escallonia, the most common is to have the hedge type to form a perimeter fence, something that we will achieve with pruning.
In this pruning there are two very different cases; when it is the first pruning to form, or when the bush is already given its shape and we must keep it.
For the first pruning of our hedges we must start densifying the foliage, this will be achieved by blunting all branches with regular pruning. This emergence will force the plant to spread more branches, gradually achieving our goal. You can take advantage of these spikes to shape the bush.
The second case is simpler, it could be said that it is enough to look for the cut of the previous pruning, cut at that height, and we will have obtained the original form.
Most gardeners are familiar with deadheading, which is nothing but the process of cutting withered flowers. While eliminating dried flowers is aimed at improving the aesthetics of the plant, another important benefit that it brings is to channel the energy of the plant towards the generation of new flowers and fresh foliage instead of creating seeds.
To redirect the energy of a plant to new growth, it is better to remove withered flowers as soon as you notice them. So and all if you do not have the time to keep up with the task, simply carry it out whenever you can. The delay will do little damage and may even work in your favor by extending the period of relaunch.
4. When to prune Escallonia
Defining the right time to prune a Escallonia comes from several factors, but the most important is the type of pruning. Each of them has a moment that can be understood as the ideal.
- Pruning maintenance and cleaning: eliminating totally dry branches does not have an idea time, but rather can be carried out at any time. The same happens with the trimming of diseased branches, which must be cut as soon as they are detected. It is not the same if what we are cutting are green or crisscrossed branches, this pruning is best carried out between mid and late autumn.
- Pruning to shape the Escallonia hedge: this type of pruning is recommended once the Escallonia has finished flowering.
- Deadheading: the elimination of dried flowers is obviously carried out during the flowering stage of the bush, extending to the end of it.
5. How to prune Escallonia video
As usual on this website we like to finish the articles with videos, this allows the reader to see more graphically some of the concepts seen here. In the case we have selected a brief but useful video of the Burncoose channel, which details how to perform the pruning of a hedge Escallonia, which takes a good time if it is pruned. When you see this you can realize how important it is to carry out annual pruning, and not forget your shrub without pruning.
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Well up to here we have arrived with this article in which we talked about how and when to prune Escallonia Hedge bush. I hope you have no doubt when you should take your scissors and get to work.