Celebrating the Seasons

From April 2008 E-newsletter




Pruning Spring Bloomers


Sunny forsythia are a sure sign that spring is here.



Azaleas are good choices for gardens in dappled shade.


We gardeners are often too busy in the spring to start thinking about next year. But keep in mind that spring-flowering shrubs should be pruned after the shrub has finished blooming. There are several reasons to prune shrubs. You can prune to enhance overall shape, to promote healthy new growth, and to encourage abundant flower buds for bloom the following season. For successful pruning, it's important to understand what to remove, and that every plant requires a slightly different method. Check out this excellent how-to guide: Pruning Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.

Typically, there is a six-week window during which you can prune spring-blooming shrubs, so don't procrastinate. These shrubs begin forming the buds for next year's bloom in midsummer. If you wait too long to prune, you'll run the risk of removing next year's blossoms. Here's a list of spring-blooming shrubs that should be pruned just after flowering in the spring.

Barberry
Cottoneaster
Currant
Deutzia
Flowering cherry
Flowering dogwood
Flowering quince
Forsythia
Honeysuckle
Lilac
Magnolia
Mountain laurel
Redbud
Rhododendron and Azalea
Smoke tree
Spirea
Viburnum
Weigela
Wisteria


Sweet-smelling lilacs are vigorous growers that benefit from regular pruning.

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