Pruning - Spring Flowering Shrubs

Spring Pruning CyclePruning spring flowering shrubs soon after they flower is important to help reduce the chances of interfering with next year’s flowers. Spring flowering shrubs, blooming before June 15, often produce buds for next year’s blooms during the summer months. If pruning is done during the summer or fall, it may compromise, or delay, next year’s bloom.


Renewal PruningThe renewal method of pruning is often used for spring flowering shrubs. This involves removing the oldest stalks to the ground, while trimming back the younger stalks. Mark the stems you are going to remove with colored ribbon to help visualize what you are removing. Pruning should be done with a set of pruning shears or loppers, not hedge shears.


Summer Pruning CycleShrubs that should be pruned after flowering include Azaleas, Andromeda, Lilac, Deutzia, Kerria, Mock Orange, Weigela, Forsythia, Viburnum, St. John’s Wort, Cherry, Quince, Spirea, Rhododendron, and Mt. Laural.


Any flowers that bloom after June 15th can be pruned in early spring with a low risk of compromising the flowers.