Though pruning shrubs strikes fear into the hearts of many, it is actually a simple and rewarding process. All you need to do to master it is to understand a few basic principles behind the why, when, and how of pruning shrubs.
Pruning Demystified - Download PDF
|What’s the secret of transitioning from a competent gardener to a confident one? Pruning! Though pruning shrubs strikes fear into the hearts of many, it is actually a simple and rewarding process. All you need to do to master it is to understand a few basic principles behind the why, when, and how of pruning shrubs. Once you implement these ideas and techniques, you’ll have more flowers and healthier plants in your garden that same season.||
How do I prune a shrub?
Why should I prune a shrub?
When in doubt, don’t prune! Most shrubs don’t require regular pruning in order to be healthy and beautiful.
TIP! Most shrubs have an appealing natural habit that doesn’t require extensive trimming and shaping. Enjoy your low-maintenance landscape and only prune when necessary.
2. Remove selected stems entirely. This encourages new growth from the base of the plant, improving the health and habit.
When do I prune a shrub?
The answer to this depends on whether the shrub in question blooms on old wood or on new wood.
- Reblooming plants like Bloomerang® lilac and Bloom-A-Thon® azalea flower on both old wood and on new wood – if they require pruning, the best time to do it is immediately after their spring bloom.
- Evergreens like arborvitae and boxwood are best pruned in spring, after new growth has flushed out.
- Dead wood can be removed any time. Branches that cause a hazard to people, pets, or property should be removed promptly.
For best performance, it’s best to avoid pruning the following plants, except to remove dead wood in spring:
- Bigleaf hydrangea
- Mountain hydrangea
- Oakleaf hydrangea
- Viburnums grown for their berries
- Winterberry holly
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