7 Shrubs to Prune This Spring

Is there anything quite like the feeling of gardening in spring? Everything is fresh and full of possibilities! There are so many choices to make, and even though almost all of them are good, it can quickly become overwhelming. So, let’s narrow down that list and talk about the seven common shrubs that will truly benefit from your attention. The work you put in with them now will pay off later on when you see lovely habits and plentiful blooms! (If you’re anything like me, you’ll also want to know which shrubs NOT to prune in spring, so watch this video to find out.)

Here are two shrubs to put on the to-do list this spring. Click the link below to see the rest.

Pugster Blue® Butterfly Bush

Give these plants a harsh cut, but leave at least one foot of mature growth in place. Juvenile growth puts out the most abundant blooms, but it needs a sturdy base to grow from to remain upright.

Incrediball® Smooth Hydrangea

They respond well to a quick cut back, and don’t need the same type of careful pruning as many other shrubs do. Be sure to leave a sturdy base for the new growth to sprout from and be supported by.

What’s the difference between pruning and deadheading?

In pruning, you take care to shape the plant and direct its future growth with each cut. In deadheading, you follow the stem of a spent flower back to the first set of leaves or leaf nodes and cut just above them. Watch this quick video to get a visual understanding

Vote in Shrub Madness! Round one has started and voting might just win you some plants.

Sign up for the free virtual event, The Great Grow Along! Stacey is giving the talk, Low-Maintenance, High-Impact Gardens.

Get some tips on specimen plants with Stacey and Rick!

Written by
Picture of Kristina Howley

Kristina Howley

I am all in when it comes to gardening. Almost every part of the experience delights me – new leaves emerging in spring, pollinators buzzing in summer, birds devouring berries in fall, and the somber beauty of seed heads in winter. Thanks to a background in horticulture and gardening my own clay-filled, flowery USDA zone 5b plot, I’ve learned plenty of practical things as well. I like sharing these joys and lessons with my fellow gardeners and soon-to-be gardeners any way I can.


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