Pruning Shrubs Is Rarely Necessary

20150419Strangely enough, when someone buys a shrub, his first question is often: “When do I prune it? ” But that’s not the right question to ask. Instead, you should ask “Do I need to prune it?” And if the answer is yes, buy something else! Life is too short to waste it pruning shrubs!

The truth is that only a tiny number of shrubs really need annual pruning. And the most spectacular shrubs are usually those who have not been pruned at all or only very rarely, just to remove dead or broken branches.

So if you want to have a low maintenance yard, pull up your lawn (very high maintenance!) and put in shrubs instead. It will certainly make your gardening life easier!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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