Whether you prune your shrubs yourself or hire a landscaper to perform your fine gardening, it is important to have an understanding of when flowering shrubs should be pruned.  With a basic understanding of when these flowering shrubs should be pruned, you can evaluate the knowledge and quality of work that your landscaper is performing.  Your lawn care company might do an excellent job of taking care of your lawn but their crews might not have a good understanding of when to prune flowering shrubs.

A few years ago, I was on a landscape construction job site while the client was out in the landscape pruning some shrubs.  The client starting talking with the foreman, asking some questions about taking care of the newly planted flowering shrubs and perennials.  One of the questions was also about her Lilacs.  It was late November and the client was wondering why her Lilacs never flower.  The foreman explained that she was pruning off all the flower buds that were forming.  Pruning your flowering shrubs at the correct time will ensure you get the flowering results you expect.

Here is a breakdown of when to prune flowering shrubs that are commonly found in Green Bay and Appleton landscaping.

When to prune a Lilac.

It is best to prune your lilacs in spring right after the flowers fade. You can prune later in the summer but you might end up sacrificing flowers for the following spring.

When to prune a Spirea.

The best time of year to prune your Spirea right after it is done flowering in early summer. They could be pruned any time of year but when you prune a Spirea in after it is done flowering it will give you the best results.

When to prune a Smooth Hydrangea.

It is best to prune Smooth Hydrangeas in early spring.  I prefer to leave the dried flower heads for winter interest but they can also be pruned in fall.

When to prune a Panicle Hydrangea.

Panicle Hydrangeas are more flexible.  A good time of year to prune Panicle Hydrangeas would be winter but it is cold out in winter!  You can prune them any time of year that they aren’t flowering but I would recommend early spring.  You can prune off faded flowers any time of year.

When to prune a Weigela.

It is best to prune Weigela in summer after they have finished flowering.  Prune it back to make sure you get healthy growth each year.

When to prune a Forsythia.

The best time of year to prune your Forsythia is in the spring or early summer after the blooms have faded.  If you prune in the fall or winter you will be pruning off spring flowers.

When to prune an Azalea.

Azaleas should be pruned in late spring or early summer after the flowers have faded.

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