A worm’s eye view on pruning

Download the latest version of the pdf guide HERE. Or read through the page below. Where, at the the foot of this page I have added useful links for further reading and advice.

The Wrigglers will update this page as the pruning year progresses, drawing more cartoons as they discover more top tips …

Autumn Pruning

The Wrigglers are Amateur Gardeners. This is our guide to pruning, mostly picked up by talking to other gardeners, and reading around the subject of pruning … Sometimes the hard way, we’ve learnt that timing is key to pruning.

As you know, November to February are dormant months in the garden. Time to busy ourselves, these months are a perfect time for weeding, tidying up and pruning. You can start to prune in November on plants like wisteria, climbing roses and some shrubs.

Wind rock

You don’t need telling it’s getting colder now and the days are shorter. Plants know this too. They’re pretty clever. During our autumn they toughen themselves up to survive the onslaught of winter. We can help them a bit, pruning them to prevent wind rock.

What to prune and what NOT to prune

Just as important as knowing what you can prune, is knowing what you can’t prune. The RHS has a guide to pruning groups, which clearly lay down the rules! Here’s a quick link to the pruning groups

Autumn is the time to prune your climbing roses and wisteria

Once you can see what you’re doing, start by cutting off the old blooms and any diseased wood and leaves. But caution to the climbing rose. Before you prune, make sure it is a climbing rose and not a rambling rose. Rambling roses and best pruned after they flower, in the summer.

For an expert’s eye on pruning:

RHS Pruning groups

Understand the groups and you understand when, how and which plants to prune.

These groups are designed to offer gardeners a general guide on how to prune a tree, shrub or climber.


Pruning is one of those grey areas for me. The info here is not only fun to read, but will save some of my plants from an overly keen secateur-wielding gardener, like me.

Simon Haynes

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Can worms prune? Yes they can!