Now that spring has sprung, the trees and shrubs have leafed out and started blooming and it is time to think about pruning them. Pruning often makes people nervous because they don't want to disfigure or kill a plant, and it can be difficult to visualize how the plant will look after pruning. But, you can prune, keeping your plants healthy, vigorous and pleasing to the eye. Here are some tips:
- Wait to prune spring bloomers 3-4 weeks after they have bloomed; if you prune now, you will lose some of the beautiful blossoms! Plus, they have the rest of the growing season to develop new flowers for next year.
- Remember the old saying, "Where you cut is where you will get new growth". Look at the natural shape of your plant, and to reduce your efforts, prune to keep that shape. Don't try to make that arching vase shaped mock orange into a straight upright shrub like a lilac.
- Go ahead and cut a little deeper into the plant than you may be used to. If there are many trunks (again, think lilac), cut at the base and remove several of the oldest (usually the thickest and the grayest branches) ones.
- Don't remove more than 1/3 of your plant, unless necessary.
And finally, remember A Southern Gardener is always here to assist you with pruning services by our talented staff!