Spring is the perfect time to do a little pruning to get back into the swing of gardening. Every perennial is different and each variety has its own optimal pruning schedule. Therefore it is important to know the timing and type of pruning each plant needs to get the best results. That being said, there are a few things that can be pruned any time of year such as dead, diseased or broken limbs and growths such as water sprouts or suckers. These growths are small shoots that grow from either a trunk or branch that is a couple of years old. Ornamental shrubs and vines, hedges and roses are all plants that benefit from a quick trim as the temperatures start to rise again.
Ornamental shrubs and vines do not require a lot of pruning, only the occasional thinning or removal of a damaged limb. The best time to prune ornamental shrubs and vines depends on both when they bloom and whether new or old growth blooms. We recommend pruning spring blooming ornamentals once they finish blooming for the year. The best time to prune Summer and Fall flowering ornamental shrubs and vines depends on which type of growth blooms. If the new growth blooms we recommend pruning these ornamentals in the early spring. However, if old growth blooms, we recommend pruning these ornamentals when they finish flowering in the late summer to early fall.
While mature hedges only need the occasional thinning out or dead, diseased or damaged limb removed, newly planted hedges need to be pruned multiple times in their first few years to encourage dense, bushy growth. These prunings should be done multiple times during the growing season we recommend pruning in the spring, early and late summer. The general rule of thumb with hedges is to always leave the base of the hedge wider than the top.
Roses respond well to consistent pruning. In the springtime any canes that do not flower can be removed and thinning can be done if need be. More specific pruning recommendations depend on the variety of rose. More information on pruning different types of roses can be found by following one or both of the following links: https://www.thespruce.com/popular-roses-how-to-prune-them-3269574 and https://www.heirloomroses.com/info/care/how-to/pruning/.
Here at Hook’s we offer a wide variety of perennials and our knowledgeable staff are always happy to answer any of your plant care questions!
“Pruning Trees, Shrubs and Vines; What, When and How” An expanded version of “How to Prune and Trim” by Seymour Smith & Son, Inc. Published by A Storey Publishing Bulletin.