Spring Pruning Shrubs
Spring is the perfect time to prune and groom many of your shrubs! While some plants should only be pruned during specific times of the year, here are seven popular shrubs that are perfectly suited for springtime trimming and shaping to keep them looking their best.
Spring pruning shrubs is a great way to keep your garden looking neat and tidy, but it can be tough to know what shrubs are ok to prune in the spring. Fortunately, there are several popular shrubs that are easy to prune correctly in the springtime, allowing you to improve the health and beauty of your garden.
For most evergreen shrubs, pruning right after the development of spring new growth will provide a solid base to help the shrub retain its natural shape.
Most Arborvitae shrubs are slow growing and known for keeping their natural shape without much pruning. They are best pruned in early spring before new growth emerges. If you want to do some heavy pruning, never reduce the overall shape by more than 25%.
It is okay to prune Azalea shrubs right after they bloom in spring. Some Azaleas grow fast and require light pruning several times a year to maintain a compact, dense shape.
Pruning in early spring, before buds are formed can also be beneficial. Pruning them back before blooming helps direct valuable energy to boost new growth. Make sure there are no buds when you do this pruning. To really get a pop of color with loads of blooms, apply an acidic, azalea-specific fertilizer, such as Espoma Organic Azalea Tone, right after pruning.
The best time to prune Camellia shrubs is right after the shrub has finished flowering. Most Camellias keep a natural shape and hardly ever require pruning. If you feel some limbs are getting a bit ‘leggy’, it is okay to prune them back by no more than a quarter of their length.
Spring Pruning Popular Deciduous Shrubs
The Hydrangea is one of the most popular shrubs due to its lushness and how easy it is to prune. It’s best to prune Hydrangeas in early spring before it blooms, but can be done until late in the season as long as the pruning does not remove or damage any flower buds. Though older bush varieties can be pruned almost to the ground, doing so will result in thinning and weaker growth that could take away from its full effect.
The Spirea shrub is a great addition to any garden and its pruning abilities offer much in the way of creative flowering possibilities throughout the season. This popular shrub comes in many colors, with pinkless types proving particularly hardy. To achieve fullness and more blooms, begin by shearing off one-third of the twenty inches of graduated branches in late winter. Then follow with regular pruning to keep it neat and attractive!
A sure sign of spring, the Forsythia shrub is a common sight in gardens around the world. Its hollow stems hold special zip-like vessels that can be pruned almost to the ground, forcing blooms from the new woody growth. Prune one stem per season and never more than two-thirds of its total length for quick and easy flowering success.
Rose of Sharon shrubs
Another popular flowering shrub, the Rose of Sharon (or Hibiscus) can be pruned easily with a few simple steps. In the early spring, remove old dead wood and shape the plant as desired, while at the same time removing all but two or three buds on each stem to encourage a new flush of large blooms later in the bloom season.
Spring pruning shrubs is a great way to keep your garden looking neat and tidy, but it can be tough to know what shrubs are ok to prune in the spring. We hope this guide helps you to make it easy to prune correctly in the springtime, allowing you to improve the health and beauty of your garden.
Spring Pruning Shrubs Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a better time of day to prune shrubs in spring?
Yes. In general, pruning shrubs in the afternoon is preferrable. The key is to avoid moisture. You want to prune on a dry day and avoid any morning dew. Moisture on freshly pruned stems and branches is inviting problems such as mold and diseases.
What kind of tools are best to prune shrubs?
General sharp pruning shears work well. It is best to wipe down the blades with Isopropyl alcohol before pruning to kill any potential bacteria present on the blades.
Is there a way to prune a shrub to make it fuller?
Good air circulation helps. Prune out any of the lower hanging branches, especially if they have or are drying out and almost dead. If the shrub is pyramidal shaped, pruning off the very top leader will help the shrub grow more fuller.