When It Comes to Pruning, Timing Is Everything

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Are those blue skies smiling at you? They are definitely smiling at me and it makes me want to work in the garden. I’m sure many folks feel the same way and they just have to get out there and do things. I get lots of pruning calls this time of year and there are some things that can be cut back now but there are also lots of plants that shouldn’t be pruned this time of year.

Most evergreen shrubs can be pruned just as new growth starts. Also, plants that bloom early such as yellow bells, azaleas and rhododendrons should be pruned just as the flowers begin to fade. Later flowering trees such as crape myrtle and rose of sharon should be pruned in February so it is too late to prune now. Early flowering trees such as dogwood and redbud need to wait until flowering is finished. Right now is the perfect time to cut back last year’s monkey grass. Mow it or use the weed eater to get rid of last year’s scraggly growth. Prune back leggy rose bushes now. You might delay the first blooms just a bit but it won’t matter. Don’t let those knockouts get too big. Prune them now!

Timing is the most important thing a gardener needs to learn about pruning. It’ll make or break your plants. So, if you’re not sure, call before you cut! I can help you make those difficult pruning decisions.