Pruning Shrubs Is Rarely Necessary


Strangely 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!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

1 comment on “Pruning Shrubs Is Rarely Necessary

  1. Suzanne Armstrong

    What about bushes like cornus sanguinia dogwood “Midwinter Fire” and others that are hard pruned annually to give winter colour in the garden? Are there other good options for winter colour that don’t require annual pruning?

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