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
2. Barberries – May/June/July
3. Continus – Smoke Tree
4. Forsythias – April thru July
5. Pieris – May/June/July
6. Rhododendrons Prune June/July
7. Spirea – Prune May/June
8. Syringa – Lilacs – Prune June/July
9. Viburnums – Prune May/June/July
10. Weigela – Prune May/June/July
Summer Flowering Shrubs
Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned before spring growth begins.
1. Butterfly Bush – Prune when new growth starts emerging.
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 June/July