Knowing when and how to prune plants can seem tricky and complicated. It’s normal to feel uncertain about lopping off pieces of your favorite bush with giant shears. But don’t worry – navigating the annual task of pruning can be simple.
Tips for Roses
Pruning your roses back once a year will help to maintain the desired size. Check your rose bush from time to time in late winter/early spring, and when you see new shoots growing from the canes on your rose bush, that’s a good indication it’s time to prune.
Gather your gloves, hedge shears for heavier canes, and hand shears for smaller pieces. Determining how high you want to prune depends on how high you want your rose bush to finish. Your rose bush will usually triple in size after pruning, so we recommend cutting it back by about ⅔.
Using hedge shears, simply cut the plant to the desired height. Follow up with hand shears to prune out any damaged, diseased, or undesired canes. Then, discard the debris.
Tips for Shrubs
Some shrubs require pruning, and some shrubs do not require pruning. Whether or not you need to prune your plant depends on various factors like the kind of shrub you have and the climate in which it’s planted. It’s best to check with a local garden center for pruning recommendations for the specific variety in your area.
Tips for Perennials
Some perennials benefit from annual pruning, but it is important to follow the guidelines for your specific variety to avoid damaging the plant. If you aren’t sure whether to prune or how much to trim, ask your locally owned garden center for suggestions about caring for plants in your area.
In general, do not trim back a perennial before it has drawn the energy it needs from the leaves. This allows the roots to have the energy needed to support the plant during the winter. Another option is to leave the foliage on your perennials, which provides winter interest as well as food and cover for wildlife.