Pruning Shrubs

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated November 6, 2017)

Pruning shrubs doesn't have to be the scary proposition that many beginning gardeners think that it is. Pruning is a vital step in promoting the health and welfare of your plants, while also creating that perfect landscape design that you have in mind. If you have never pruned a shrub, tree, or plant in your life you need to understand a few basic principles before you go out and begin pruning. Without understanding the basic principles behind pruning, you can find yourself creating more of a problem than you intended.

  • Reason to prune. Before you begin pruning, you need to have some reason in mind. Are you planning on pruning to increase the aesthetic look of the shrub? Maybe you are planning on controlling some of the growth? Are you trying to train the plant to grow in a specific manner, as with a small bonsai tree? Remember that you will be cutting a live plant, and whenever you cut the plant, you are making a permanent change that can have unintended consequences.
  • Know your plant. In order to avoid unintended consequences when pruning shrubs, be sure that you know your plants. Believe it or not, some shrubs should only be pruned during certain parts of the year, such as the rose bush. However, most shrubs should be pruned in the spring time, as well as the fall. This will promote growth wile also preparing the plant for the changes in the weather that will be coming soon.
  • Scope of the pruning. Don't begin with a major pruning operation. Instead start small and work your way up. Walk around your shrubs, and prune only a few small items at a time and then wait a few days. This will allow you time to see whether the changes you made will harm the shrub or not, and will allow you to see if you need to go any further.
  • Necessary pruning. Pruning is also a great way to prevent any spread of diseased or rotting parts of the plant. If you come across a branch, or part of the shrub that looks diseased, dead, or rotting then remove it. This will help ensure that your shrub grows as healthy as possible.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

MORE FROM DORIS

Stop Your Pet from Running Off

Pets that run away result in a sad family, and that's something that nobody wants. Here are some guidelines to follow to ...

Discover More

Cleaning Spilled Milk

Growing up we were always told to never cry over spilled milk. But what about the stains left behind? Crying over those ...

Discover More

Rescuing Ruined Meals

Oh no! Your meal is ruined—or is it? You can save lots of meals from certain destruction. Find out how!

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Trimming Lilac Bushes

If your lilac bush doesn't flower in the spring, it is probably because you trim it improperly. You should only trim a ...

Discover More

Brighter Azaleas with Vinegar

Azaleas love acid. To give your azaleas a boost and keep them brighter than ever, water them with a vinegar and water ...

Discover More

Trimming Shrubs

The best time to trim your shrubs is late spring or early summer. Trimming later in the season puts the new growth of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)