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  • PRUNING

    PRUNING & FERTILIZING

     

    Pruning spring flowering shrubs and trees (such as rhododendron and lilac)

                Since these plants bloom on previous year’s wood they should be pruned after they bloom or else you will sacrifice flower buds.  Pruning should be done within six weeks after blooming.  This is also a good time to feed them.  We recommend a slow release fertilizer such a Shrub Rich or Hollytone.

     

    Pruning summer flowering shrubs and trees (such as spirea, butterfly bush and crape myrtle)

                These plants should be pruned in the early spring before the new growth begins to emerge.  Hydrangeas are the exception to this rule.  They are late spring or summer flowering, but they bloom from previous year’s growth.  So they should be pruned only if necessary and after flowering.  However, the Endless Summer Hydrangea flowers through the summer and flowers on the new growth, so it should be pruned in the early spring.

     

    Pruning evergreens

                Most evergreen trees and shrubs should be pruned either in the early spring (for a natural appearance) or late spring after the new growth has flushed out (for a more formal appearance).  This includes both needled evergreens such as yews, spruce and juniper and broad-leafed evergreens such as boxwood, hollies and laurels.  One exception to this rule is the spring flowering group of evergreens such as azaleas and rhododendron, which should not be pruned until after they have bloomed or else you will sacrifice flowers.  These plants should be pruned within six weeks after they bloom, before they begin to set buds for next year’s bloom.

     

    Pruning shade trees

                Shade trees should be pruned in late February – March.  This is also a good time to feed them with a slow release fertilizer.

     

    Pruning & cutting back liriope and ornamental grasses

                Both of these plants should be pruned in March.  It is important that these plants be cut back each year, because they put out new foliage from the ground to replace last year’s growth, which will not rejuvenate itself.  Liriope should be cut back about 30%.  How far you cut back ornamental grasses will depend on the age and size of the plant.  A smaller grass that has only been in the ground for a few years should be cut back to about 40%-50%, whereas a larger one that has been there for some time will need to be cut back to about 60%-80%.  When cutting back larger grasses, instead of cutting straight across the top of the plant, make your cut in the shape of a mound with the center a few inches above the sides.  Cutting back large ornamental grasses straight across the top of the plant could lead to the middle of the plant dying out, meaning it will not come back.

     

      

    Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs

                Most plants will benefit from a spring and early fall application of fertilizer.  We recommend use a slow release fertilizer such as Shrub Rich or Hollytone.

     

    Fertilizing Annuals and Perennials

                Annuals will generally benefit from frequent applications of fertilizer throughout the entire growing season.  Fertilizing about every 4-6 weeks will keep your annuals growing and blooming all season.  Perennials do not require as much fertilizer as annuals.  Fertilizing with a good flowering plant food one time in early spring will promote strong blooming.

     

               

     

     

     

     


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