If You Think You Must, Don’t Make it a Bust

We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather two weekends in a row. In fact, we’re seeing daffodils popping up all over town! If you didn’t make it out last weekend, chances are good you’re planning to do some pruning soon. Last week we talked about over-pruning Crape Myrtles (aka Crape Murder). This week we’ll give you some simple rules of thumb to use while pruning your landscape.

First, keep in mind that most plants only need one thorough pruning per year. If you find yourself pruning flowering shrubs and trees more often, you should consider changing the placement of the plants in your landscape to give them the space they need to thrive.

Next, be sure not to prune spring flowering plants until after they bloom; i.e. Azalea, Spirea, Quince, Forsythia, Japonica Camellia and Lilac. These and other spring flowering plants produce their flower buds the year before. If you cut them back before they bloom, say goodbye to this year’s flowers. They will come back next year; just don’t forget to wait on the pruning until after you’ve enjoyed their beauty next spring.

Third, it’s okay to prune summer flowering plants in late winter or early spring. Pruning now encourages new growth over the summer and results in more flowers. The exception to the rule here is Hydrangea. Unless you know the specific type you have growing in your garden, it’s best to wait on pruning until they bloom.

Finally, don’t worry so much! It’s okay to prune stray shoots, branches and overgrowth whenever you think it needs to be done. Just take it easy and be careful not to over-do it.

Next week we’ll talk more in-depth on hydrangeas, so don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to make sure it arrives in your mailbox.

Still have questions? Give us a call or visit our website! We would be happy to talk with you about your landscaping needs this year.

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