Buddleja hard pruned in spring - ready to
send a lot of new growth and large flowers.
The shrubs mentioned in this calendar for pruning do NOT HAVE TO BE
PRUNED in many instances. These are simply optimum times if you so wish.
For instance, some of the evergreens are best pruned back by mid summer
in order that they gain sufficient 'hardy;' growth before the onset of
the following winter..You will soon be aware of why 'when to prune
shrubs' is as important as 'how to prune shrubs'.
Pruning is necessary for some shrubs - not
because they actually need it, but more because we
have either planted them in the wrong place, or they
are simply not conforming to what we think they
should look like. But if you are going to prune, it
is essential that you know when to prune shrubs, for if you prune some
shrubs at the wrong time, you can lose flowers for a year or maybe two.
There are many other shrubs that simply need pruning to do their best
for us - whether new lush foliage, stems or flowers. The downfall of
pruning in many cases - certainly as our mailbox suggests - is that many
shrubs are pruned at the wrong time.
This results in either cutting off
the flower buds for the season - hence no flowers for a year; cutting
off the stems in autumn which would normally give us a great display
through the winter; or even pruning some types of shrubs/trees at the
wrong time of year, which then allows fungal spores to enter!
When to prune your Shrubs - Calendar Of Pruning For Shrubs and Hardy Plants.
One of the problems of writing a Calendar of Shrub Pruning, is the
fact that every year brings seasons which are either earlier or later
than usual - particularly spring and autumn, and of course, being a
world wide website, there will be different hardiness zones in different
countries, together with different general climatic conditions which
will also affect the optimal timing of any pruning for some types of
shrubs. This can affect the time when you prune your shrubs. You will
have to gain knowledge about your own particular time zone to know this.
The basis of our calendar, is that of minimum average
temperature of approximately -7deg. This corresponds to most areas
within the UK. It is roughly equivalent to Group 8B on the USDA
Hardiness Zones Table. As with all things in life, times change. So do
temperatures - regardless of your feeling about global warming.
Kerria japonica - right after flowering, and
cut some of the branches down to near ground level. If you are
really brave you can cut the whole shrub down hard! It will reward
you with some great lush foliage - and flowers for next year of
Pieris. Especially if there was frost damage to
the new foliage. Don't be afraid to cut back to regenerate - and get
some new coloured foliage.
Chaenomeles - Quince - As soon as flowering
Salix caprea and others that are grown for
their pussy willow catkins.
Fatsia japonica - is best pruned in late April
- May once frosts are over. Winter damage cut out, and cut beck for
renewed foliage, and flower for the coming winter.
Pruning at this time of year is normally confined to shrubs that
flower on growths that were produced in the previous year. Therefore by
pruning now, you are giving the plant time to produce new growth this
year, which will also bear the flower buds for next year. Leave it too
late, and there will be no time for the shrub to produce next year's
flower buds. For this group of shrubs - prune immediately after
However, there are also several evergreens that can be pruned at this
time - if they are simply being grown for foliage effect.
Flowering Cherry and Almond Trees - Prunus
Evergreen Azaleas - as soon as finished
flowering, but only if they need it for shape or size.
Deciduous Azales will need pruning - dead
heading in July.
Rhododendrons - best only to dead-head the old
flowers, then you will see the new shoots directly beneath the old
Kolkwitzia - The Beauty Bush, right after
Deutzia - All types right after flowering.
Gardenia if you are lucky enough to live in an
area of the world where they grow outside.
Hydrangea - Oak leaf type - Hydrangea
quercifolia -minimal, but will ensure good autumn - fall - foliage.