Tips for Pruning Flowering Shrubs
The novice gardener may be reluctant of pruning flowering shrubs for fear of permanently damaging or killing them. In most instances, more long-term damage results from lack of pruning than from any pruning that was done. Following a few simple rules will help you sustain a beautiful landscape.
Pruning flowering shrubs is necessary in the maintenance of your landscape for the following reasons:
• To control, develop and maintain plant size
• To improve branching structure
• To increase sunlight to the center of the plant
• To renew and invigorate the remaining branches
• To increase air circulation which aids in disease control
• To remove dead and diseased wood
Different types of flowering shrubs require pruning at different times of the year. As a rule, spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, lilac, magnolia, rhododendron and azaleas should not be pruned in the fall as you will cut off their flowering buds and they will not bloom the following spring. You can trim them in the spring after they have flowered. Other flowering shrubs like weigelas can be pruned in the fall. Hydrangeas can also be pruned back in the fall but it is somewhat a matter of personal preference as their dried flower buds add winter interest.
Helpful Tips: Spireas and potentillas benefit from rejuvenation pruning every few years. These plants should be pruned back to within 3-6 inches of the ground. Spireas will re-bloom in late summer if you cut the spent flower heads off. Overgrown or neglected shrubs can be renewed by cutting them back 1/3. There are often times dead wood inside the shrub that will need to be cut out as they restrict light and can often harbor fungus or disease. Shrub roses and dogwoods are excellent examples of plants that benefit greatly from eliminating the dead wood.
If you have any specific questions regarding pruning flowering shrubs, we at Lake Kountry, Inc. are happy to help answer them. We carry all the high quality products you need to get the job done. Give us a call or stop in today!
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