Late February through March is a great time to prune plants that are overgrown, plants that might flower more, and plants that could need just a little shaping. Now, just because it’s a good time to prune this month does not mean you won’t have to pay attention to your plants in the summer.
Sometimes you might just forget about the plants that seem to be blooming and growing very well, and the next thing you know, you have a shrub that has been let go for to long. Whether its old hollies, azaleas, or any other shrub in the landscape, chances are you have a few that need to be brought back to a managable size. This is called rejuvenation. This type of pruning will allow you to come in and basically cut the shrub back to 6 or 12 inches from the ground. Pruning this drastically will allow for the shrub to force out new shoots and will allow it to become more dense and easier to manage.
Pruning can also help promote some plants to flower more throughout their respective blooming seasons. Butterfly Bushes and Rose of Sharon are just a few examples of shrubs that flower on new growth. So now would be a good time to go in and give these shrubs a healthy pruning, clipping off of last years growth. However, you do need to be careful not to prune Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias and some Hydrangeas because these plants will flower on last years growth; after they have bloomed in the spring, feel free to clean them up.
Last, everyone has a personal preference on the shape or height of a plant, wherever it might be in the landscape. Just remember this is the time of year that if you need to go in and cut some shrubs around the windows or along the driveway, go ahead and prune them back with a nice pair of sharp hand pruners and for larger limbs the long handled pruners. Now I know that sometimes pruning with the electric shears can be a very fast and easy job, it could make pruning harder through the year. It will allow the plants to be thicker on the outside, but nothing but sticks on the inside. A good way to control that is to selectively prune around the shrub making sure there is parts of the plant that the sun can penitrate to the inside allowing for a fuller plant throughout. Remember, you can get out there and prune till your heart desires or you can call Stone Creek Landscaping for free estimates and an analysis of your landscape.
Good luck and happy prunning!