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How and When to Prune Flowering Shrubs.

Apr 02, Late winter and early spring are ideal times for pruning many shrubs. At this time, shrubs are leafless, so you are better able to see the overall shape of the shrub and easily identify dead, damaged, diseased wood and structural defects. Because pruning stimulates new growth, late summer and fall pruning are not desirable pruning times as new growth at that time of year is subject to Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins.

Pruning Flowering Shrubs - Penn State Extension. 34 rowsWhen to Prune.

Summer-flowering shrubs bloom from flower buds formed during the current year, meaning their flower buds are formed the same season they bloom.

Spring-flowering shrubs bloom on one-year-old wood that grew the. Feb 15, Spring-flowering shrubs bloom from flower buds formed the previous summer.

These shrubs should be pruned immediately after they finish flowering. If instead, they are pruned during the fall or winter, the flower buds will be removed. You want to prune before buds are set to keep from disturbing the following year’s blooms.

As a rule, flowering plants that bloom in early spring on old wood (or growth from the previous season), like azaleas, should be pruned a week or two after flowering.

It is less stressful for the plant, and you can clearly see the stems when they are leafless.

The new growth that follows is where buds. The older a flowering shrub becomes the more likely it will need to be pruned to shape it or prevent it from getting too large and unwieldy. Corrective pruning, meant to change or improve the growth of a shrub, is traditionally done at the end of a dormant season (which means late winter or early spring). May 28, Woody plants that bloom in spring have a resting period of about three to six weeks before they begin preparing flower buds for next year’s bloom.

If the plants require hard pruning for size control or just gentle shaping, pruning must be accomplished during the rest phase to avoid cutting off nascent flower buds.

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