Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA

1 Comment

Is it time to prune?

All gardens have a variety of plants, flowers, trees and bushes. Many gardeners purposely plant things that bloom at different times of the season so there gardens look beautiful and full all the time.

Plants and flowers bloom and different times and they die off at different times. Pruning the deadheads and trimming back branches will help your plants stay healthy and bloom longer. Knowing when to trim and prune each individual breed of plant can be tricky. Some need to be pruned in the fall, some in the spring. Some need the deadheads taken off all season long.

To help you keep your garden looking colorful, we have posted a list of when to prune which flower and plant. Take a look to see if any of your plants are on the list.

Getting Started
It’s always good to start pruning plants by removing all the dead, diseased or damaged stems. Dead stems attract insects and invite diseases to develop. Also remove crossing branches, water sprouts (vigorous upright growing shoots that form on trunks or side branches), and suckers (vigorous shoots that develop near or from below ground).Tips for pruning plants - Edward's Garden Center

Summer – Blooming Trees and Shrubs
Plants that bloom in summer, such as potentilla, butterfly bush and crape myrtle should be pruned in the winter when the plant is dormant. They can also be pruned in early spring just before they push out their new growth. You can even cut them all the way to the ground in late winter, and they’ll still bloom that same summer.

Most hydrangeas, like pink, blue, or white mopheads and lacecaps, or oakleaf forms grow on old wood. Prune these types of hydrangeas before midsummer. If you prune them in winter or early spring, you’ll be removing flower buds.

If your hydrangeas are newer reblooming types, such as the Endless Summer Series or Let’s Dance Series, which bloom on new growth as well as old wood, timing of pruning is less critical. Even if you cut off some of the flower buds by pruning the old stems, the plant will bloom on the new growth.

Clipped Hedges
Shrubs such as boxwood and privet are often sheared to form a hedge. To maintain a solid wall of green, shear the new growth frequently during the early part of the growing season. Keep the top narrower than the base so that the upper branches don’t shade the lower ones. Stop shearing the hedge approximately six weeks before your area’s average first frost.

Treat climbers and old garden roses that bloom only once per year the same as other spring-blooming shrubs: Pruning after they finish blooming.

Varieties of repeating bloomers should be trimmed back in early spring.

Perennial Flowers
Most perennial flowers look the most beautiful when you remove the faded flowers. This is called deadheading. Many varieties will actually push out another round of flowers when you remove the dead ones. If your perennial flowers become too tall and leggy, or flop open in the middle, try shearing them back to 6-12 inches above the ground. This type of haircut causes them to branch and become stockier.

Annual Flowers
Deadhead annual flowers regularly to keep them blooming well. Removing the old flowers prevents them from setting seed and allows plants to put more energy into blooming. Some annuals such as petunias sprawl and develop bare stems at their bases. As with perennials, you can shear these rangy plants to force more compact growth and renewed bloom.

Every good gardener knows, gardening is a full time job (though an enjoyable one 🙂 ). Pruning deadheads off your flowers, trimming stems and branches should all be part of your daily or weekly routine.

Hope you found this article helpful!

-Aimee, blogger for  S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio, ReBath Northeast and Edward’s Garden Center

Information for this article came from Better Homes and Gardens.