This is my strategy for pruning trees and shrubs around my house during the summer: If they look like they need pruning, then by all means prune them!
Yeah, you might cut off a few flower buds if you prune at the wrong time, but it’s small price to pay to have nice looking plants in your landscape.
Plants like Rhododendron and Flowering Dogwood trees start setting flower buds for next year pretty much right after they are done blooming this year. So the ideal time to prune them is right after they bloom.
But nobody does that!
Then they claim they can’t prune until after the plant blooms again. Then they forget. Next thing you know you have this monstrous shrub that totally detracts from your landscape that has no flowers!
But think about it. Flowers on a big overgrown, ugly shrub are like eye shadow and lip gloss on a Rhinoceros. It’s still a Rhino.
Pruning procrastination has ruined more landscapes than you can imagine.
I’m a ruthless pruner, but I haven’t killed anything yet and my landscape always looks great.
Have a great week!
Kathleen Wakefield says
Thank you, you have helped me loose the fear of pruning!!
Is there any rule of thumb for controlling vines?
We are in Los Angeles and have been planting ‘drought’ tolerant natives.
I have enjoyed and become inspired by your wonderful attitude on Life,
Many vine type plants are fairly aggressive. Sometimes you can anchor them or tie them to area that you might want them. Or just prune as needed, cutting them more aggressively at the end of the growing season to allow for the spring flush of new growth.
Tamara Lesley says
My roses are already growing but they are getting pretty tall. When I bought them at the store the package showed a plant that looked like it would grow to be about three feet but this one must be a climbing rose plant. Would it hurt it to cut it back to make it shorter right now. It produces beautiful large yellow roses and I just love the flower but the plant is too tall for my liking. Thank you for your attention. I would love to win the Back yard Growers Membership. Thank for the opportunity to get in to this wonderful web site.
Prune away, you are not going to harm those roses.
kathy kaiser says
When I was young, we lived in Beatty, Nevada. It was a tiny one casino town ,and also known as the “wild burro capital of the world”. There was also an Elks Lodge there , and as a mascot, they had a tiny little orphaned baby burro. My family got to care for her, feeding her milk , and taking her downtown so tourists could see her.
And I tell you what- I don’t think any other animal is as cute as a baby donkey!
I have to agree!