Many of the flowering shrubs that we grow are vigorous growers and we want them to look fantastic when it’s time to sell them. The only way that can happen is if we keep them pruned so they look good.
When I’m doing the pruning things get cut back really hard. I mean really hard! But when somebody else does it, if I’m not paying enough attention, they don’t get pruned as hard as they should be and they get lanky and ugly. And we grow in pretty tight quarters so I really like to keep things pruned as much as we can until they get sent off to a new home.
This Anthony Waterer Spirea is a perfect example of a plant that desperately needs pruned. We should have been on this in mid summer and not let it get to this point, but we didn’t. So I patiently waited for the plants to go dormant so we could cut them back as hard as they really need to be cut back.
It’s kinda like hitting the reset button on a plant.
They have so few leaves down low that wouldn’t let Cathy prune them until they were dormant because I wanted to “hit the reset button on them!” A light or mild pruning is not what they need. They need to be cut back hard. Like this . . .
Pretty harsh right?
Remind me to get a photo of this plant in May. You won’t recognize it. It will be awesome, then come June in will be a nice round plant covered with lavender flowers.
Raising plants is like raising kids. A little discipline goes a long way and makes for a better person.
We are in the process of going through the nursery and pruning all of our Hydrangeas, Weigela, Spirea, Potentilla and other plants just like this. Some that are a bit nicer won’t get cut quite as hard, but if they need it, that’s what they are getting.
Mike, can those clippings be used as cuttings?
Yes, yes, yes! Absolutely they can. It’s late fall, almost winter so the wood is very hard and is slower to root, but they will root and you’ll have a ton of new plants! This is how you do hardwood cuttings.
Pruning is something that you do from day one with your rooted cuttings and liners. I can’t stress how important this is from the very moment your cuttings have roots. I did a really good article about this (Hey, I think it’s good.) you need to check it out. In the video on the page I’m a bit frustrated over lack of pruning. Take a peek.
There’s a ton of good information in that article as well.
Questions or comments? Post them below and I’ll check back and answer them.