Time Of Pruning Flowering Plants

Pruning can mean anything from removing buds or new growth with your fingertips to using a chain saw for removing large branches or trunks. When done properly, pruning is almost always beneficial to the plant.

Time of pruning is critical for flowering trees and shrubs. Pruning at the wrong time of year can result in little flowering that year.

Many trees and shrubs bloom in spring and develop flower buds on summer growth for the following spring. Heavily pruning these plants in late winter removes most of the flower buds, resulting in little or no flowering. Prune just after bloom in spring for the best flower display the following spring.

For trees or shrubs that bloom during late summer or early fall from buds formed on current season’s growth, the best time to prune is late winter or spring.

Pruning in fall or midwinter leaves open wounds that lose moisture. Pruning cuts made during these times commonly cause dieback, resulting in more pruning in spring to remove the dead stubs. Pruning cuts made in spring, just before or during active growth, seal over quickly forming a callus, preventing moisture loss and dieback.

Always cut young shoots and branches just above a bud or a twig. Make the cut 1/4 inch past the bud or twig. Cutting closer can damage the remaining bud; cutting further out will leave a dead stub. Before cutting, observe the direction the bud is pointing. The bud produces a shoot that will turn into a branch; the bud points in the direction of the future branch. If the resulting branch will interfere with other branches, choose another bud for the location of the cut. If a shrub needs to fill a wide space, prune to buds or branches pointing outward. For shrubs that need to be narrower, prune to buds pointing toward the center of the plant.

Spring-Flowering Shrubs

1. Late winter: leaf and flower buds are ready to grow.

2. Early spring: flowers open and leaves begin to grow.

3. Late spring: Prune once flowers have faded.

4. Summer: Next year’s flowers develop on new stems.

Summer-Flowering Shrubs

1. Late winter: leaf buds are ready to grow, but flower buds are not yet developed.

2. Early spring: Prune just before peak growth begins.

3. Late spring: Each cut yields new stems, each producing flower buds.

4. Summer: flower clusters develop on new stems.

A pruning set should contain, at a minimum, a sharp, small-bladed knife, pruning shears, a long-handled lopper, a pruning saw, a pair of gloves, and safety glasses.


About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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