Gardening Pruning Shrubs

When to prune flowering shrubs?

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Shrubs rarely need to be pruned (of course, I would say that: I’m a laidback gardener!), but if you do feel the need to prune (remove a few old or damaged branches, for example, or rejuvenate a scraggly older shrub), be aware that if you don’t want to sacrifice flower buds already present on the stems, the best time to do it is within 2 or 3 weeks after the shrub blooms. Therefore prune spring flowering shrubs in May or June after they stop blooming, summer-flowering shrubs in July or August when the last flower has faded and autumn-flowering shrubs after the first frost or the following spring.

As for dead branches … well, you can remove those at any season!

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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