Knowing when to prune summer blooming shrubs is essential to ensure your shrubs thrive and flower just when they should. Pruning helps with the health and longevity of the shrub and helps prevent pests and diseases as well. Knowing the correct times to prune shrubs throughout the year can help keep your garden looking good and thriving.
Identify your shrubs
You'll need to identify your shrubs to determine when you need to prune them. If you don't know which are growing in your garden, we recommend noting when each shrub flowers at what time of year. During spring, write down all of the shrubs that flower.
- Shrubs that flower in summer produce their flowers on new growth from the current season. Prune them in winter, when they're dormant, or in early spring before their new growth starts. Shrubs that belong to this group are potentilla and crape myrtle.
- If your deciduous shrubs flower from November to June, they can be pruned after flowering. Deadhead old flowers and remove damaged, diseased and straggly growth. This group includes shrubs such as Weigela, Ribes and Kerria.
- Most evergreens can be pruned before new growth begins in early spring (but after frosts have passed) but if they are flowering or ready to, make sure you don't snip off the blooms and wait until after flowering.
When to prune summer-blooming shrubs
Decidious plants and shrubs that flower from July to October should be pruned back in the springtime. Plants will store energy to produce new shoots on new growth from early summer. The timing of pruning is essential, so you don't prune away the shoots that will later flower. These will include shrubs such as Buddleja, Hydrangea paniculata and Spirea japonica.
Remember there are other times to prune
Besides the shrubs mentioned above, some shrubs need a prune at different times. For example, deciduous trees and shrubs such as Forsythia and Syringa can be pruned between November to March with a hard prune back, and evergreen shrubs can be tidied up in later winter and early spring or after flowering.
There are many shrubs and subgroups for pruning. If you are unsure which to prune at various times of the year, there are many more resources online, but we are always happy to help and advise you when you visit us in store. Our knowledgeable staff can tell you everything about how and when to prune your shrubs.
Use the right tools when pruning summer-blooming shrubs
Ease the gardening job by using the right tools. When pruning your summer-blooming or other shrubs, you must use sharp pruning shears and secateurs. The best tools for pruning depend on the pruning job. If you need to cut large branches, we recommend using a pruning saw, electric or manual. If you only need to cut back small branches, sharp secateurs are enough. Discover different brands of pruning tools at our garden centre. Don't forget your garden gloves, especially when pruning roses. They can't be overlooked. If you can't find the right tool, please ask our staff at the garden centre, they're always willing to help.
For pruning accessories and, of course, shrubs to prune, visit us in Poynings, Sussex and pick your perfect shrub.