What to prune when

homegardenadvicesYou may want to prune your plants if they are dead, diseased or damaged at the stems. However, you may be confused as to how you should prune your plants, without cutting too much. Here are some expert tips on what to prune when.

Spring-flowering trees and shrubs – Think early spring bloomers like lilac, forsythia and bear flowers. These flowers need pruning and the best time to get them in shape is in spring, just after they finish blooming. If you prune these plants in winter, you will remove flower buds.

Summer-blooming trees and shrubs- Think plants, like potentilla, butterfly bush, and crape myrtle. It is best to prune these flowers in winter when they are dormant.

Hydrangeas –If you have pink, blue, or white mop heads and lace caps, or oak leaf forms of hydrangeas, it is best to prune them in winter or else you will be removing flower buds.

Shrubs without showy blooms – Shrubs that are mostly grown for their foliage, can be trimmed anytime except in autumn. This is mainly because new growth will not harden before winter.

Clipped hedges – Most shrubs like boxwood and private are cut to create a hedge. It is best to shear these shrubs during the early part of a season. Make sure the top is narrower than the base; this will prevent the upper branches from shading the lower ones. It is best to stop shearing about 6 weeks prior to receiving your first frost.