The Proper Time to Prune

The Proper Time to Prune

Spring Flowering Shrubs

Spring-flowering shrubs bloom on the growth of the previous season.
Prune them immediately after blooming.

1. Azalea – Prune May/June/July - after new growth emerges

2. Barberries – May/June/July

3. Continus – Smoke Tree

4. Forsythias – April thru July

5. Pieris – May/June/July - after flowering and new growth emerges

6. Rhododendrons Prune June/July - after new growth emerges

7. Spirea – Prune May/June

8. Syringa – Lilacs – Prune June/July

9. Viburnums – Prune May/June/July (depending on variety)

10. Weigela – Prune after each flowering and in October

Summer Flowering Shrubs

Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned before spring growth begins.

1. Butterfly Bush – Prune when new growth starts emerging - late winter/early spring

2. Clethra – Summersweet – Late fall or early spring.

3. Hibiscus – Rose of Sharon – Late fall or early spring.

4. Hydrangea arborescens – Responds well to being cut back to about 10"-12" above the ground. This gives you stronger stems and larger flowers.

5. Hydrangea macrophylla - the Big Leaf Hydrangea. The flower buds form in later summer and then flower the next year in early to mid-summer. The best time to prune is it after it blooms, from mid-July to mid-August.

6. Hydrangea paniculata – Peegee Hydrangea. Best pruned in early spring. Blooms on new wood. Very tolerant of hard pruning, in fact cutting the plant back from 1/2 to 1/3 will result in larger flowers. Can be pruned in winter but why not enjoy the winter beauty of snow on the dried flower heads.

7. Hydrangea quercifolia – Oakleaf Hydrangea. Prune-shape after flowering but not into fall. Buds form for next year late summer/early fall.


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