Many larger shrubs such as Lavatera and Buddleja can be severely damaged in the winter due to high winds or snowload. Many people often cut them hard back to prevent this and lose the plant. We prefer to reduce the plant by 30-50% in Autumn/early winter and then do the rest of the prune in late March/early April.
Snow as mentioned above can damage and mis-shape plants, after heavy snowfall just pop out with a broom and tap the plant to make most of the snow fall off.
Before the end of February Clematis and Vitis (grape vines_ should be pruned. Grapes should have a hard cut back of the previous seasons growth leaving 2-4 buds and removing the rest. Wisteria can be pruned in the same way.
Clematis Group 1
Winter flowers - Alpina Vars - Macropetala Vars- Armandii Vars and all the Montana’s do not prune now you will be cutting of flowering wood.
Large flowering type that flower before the end of June. These should be pruned back to a pair of good strong looking buds on each stem normally you should end up with a good network of stems between 5 and 6 feet tall.
If you have a group 2 clematis that is thin and spindly cut the whole plant down to about 9-12” this with thicken then plant up.
Plants that flower after the end of June these include some of the larger flowering types - Tanquitica’s, Viticella’s, Texensis, all the herbaceous types. Cut the whole plant down to 12 inches don’t be afraid it will be back looking better than ever.
one other tip is always apply slug pellets around the plants after pruning (there are pet and wildlife friendly pellets available now). We have used them for some years now and are very effective.
If you are still unsure about pruning or what group your plants fall into just send and email or phone and I’ll try to help.