In natural conditions plants are constantly subject to pruning - animals eat the foliage and break branches as they trample through the bush. Unless the damage is severe the plants survive these set-backs and vigorous, healthy new growth follows.
Depending on your local climate and current weather patterns, late winter to early summer and late summer to early winter are generally the the best times to prune in Victoria.
Trim to shape when planted. Thereafter remove dead wood, and, if required, straggly branches. If a bushy plant with heavier flowering is desired, prune immediately flowering has finished as far down the branch as the green wood or the last leaf buds nearest the trunk (typically about one third of the branch).
Pruning is desirable to prevent them becoming straggly.
A. hakeifolia - Straggly plants can be rejuvenated by cutting back to near ground level during spring. They will rapidly reshoot.
Anigozanthos species (Kangaroo Paws)
Should be cut back to 25mm above the ground after flowering.
Must not be pruned below the lowest green foliage as they will not reshoot from a leafless stem. For many species a savage pruning will rejuvenate them. Some species from fire-prone areas have a lignotuber and can be reinvigorated by pruning to near ground level above the lignotuber.
Brachyscomes are generally annual or perennial herbs bearing typical daisy-type flowers. Removal of spent flower heads often produces a new flush of blooms. They should be pruned and fed a little fertiliser when they have finished flowering or begin to look a bit untidy.
B. multifida - Wait until they start sending up new growth in early spring, then cut off the old growth.
All species should be pruned immediately after the main flowering as soon as the new shoots come in spring, then regularly tip pruned to keep the flowers coming.
Most callistemons can be heavily pruned after flowering. An exception is Callistemon viminalis and its cultivars, which have a weeping habit of growth and can be damaged by pruning. For all species remove the seed cases along the plant's stems by pruning to promote more flower stems. Old plants can be rejuvenated by cutting them back almost to ground level.
Tip prune lightly after flowering if desired.
Prune the shoots after flowering - erect types to within 2-3cm of the base, and pendulous types to half way along the new growth.
Prune early in their life to make them bushy and then to prevent them becoming straggly.
E. glabra - Can be savagely pruned.
E. caesia - Can be coppiced and will reshoot from the lignotuber at the base of its trunk.
Eucalypts with blue-grey juvenile foliage - can be kept as bushy shrubs with juvenile foliage by cutting periodically to 20-30cm from the base.
Respond well to cutting back to ground level.
Cut on an angle just above a leaf node because this is where new growth shoots form. Rejuvenate straggly plants by cutting them back to near ground level during spring. Some cultivars such as G. 'Robyn Gordon' and G. 'Superb' respond well to this treatment.
>> Further information on pruning Grevilleas
Cut on an angle just above a leaf node as this is where new growth shoots form. Straggly plants can be cut back to near ground level during spring and will rapidly reshoot. Some species can be pruned down to bare wood.
I. australis - Must either be lightly tip pruned after flowering or cut back to ground level and left to reshoot. Other types of pruning are not tolerated.
All respond well to pruning, and some species can be pruned down to bare wood.
Melaleuca 'Green Globe' - Can be heavily pruned almost back to bare wood.