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It’s time to prune your spring-blooming shrubs! Now that the spring flowers have died back on your flowering shrubs, it’s time to prune them to help them re-bloom the following year.

For lilacs, they can often be cut back quite heavily, even to just a few inches above the ground. They are best pruned immediately after flowering to ensure that they will bloom the following spring.



For flowering, broadleaf evergreens (like rhododendrons and camellias), pruning in mid-summer allows for new growth and strengthening before the winter months. Don’t wait too long to prune or the new growth that comes on after the pruning will be prone to damage by the cold. Or, if you wait way too long, the fresh cuts will let in disease when the winter hits. Newly-pruned trees and shrubs are in a slightly fragile state so take care to prune sooner, rather than later. July is the perfect time.



To prune a flowering broadleaf, like rhododendrons and azaleas, wait until after blooming then cut off the dead flower heads and the rosettes of leaves just behind them. This will allow for new growth, while making the plant immediately more attractive. Older plants may need more branches and deadwood removed to keep them healthy and well-shaped.  Prune now so they will have time to re-grow and set flower buds for next year.