Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Pruning Specific Shrub Varieties

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Here is a quick reference list for pruning specific varieties of shrubs.  Be sure to also check the how and why of pruning on the previous page

 

These summer flowering shrubs flower on the current season’s growth.  Non-flowering deciduous shrubs are also noted. Prune in winter while still dormant or in early spring before growth begins:

Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)  Light pruning after bloom may produce a second bloom.  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning.

American Holly (Ilix opaca)

Beautyberry (Callicarpa species)

Beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)

Boxwood, English and American  (Buxus sempervirens)    Heading is the preferred method of pruning, but will shear well.  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Blackhaw (Viburnum pruniflorum)

Bush clover (Lespedeza)  Should be cut back to the ground each year.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)  Light pruning after bloom may produce a second bloom.  Should be cut back to the ground each year

Cherrylaurel (Prunus laurocerasus)  Heading is the preferred method of pruning.  Cherrylaurel grows vigorously and will also require thinning.  Old and overgrown plants respond well to renewal pruning.

Coralberry, Indian Currant (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)

American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum)

Anthony Waterer Spirea (Spireaea bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’)  Light pruning after bloom may produce a second bloom.  Will withstand being cut back to the ground to rejuvenate.

Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia species)  Susceptible to winter kill.  Cut dead wood down to the soil.  Thin select branches to 6-12”.

Fiveleaf aralia (Acanthopanax sieboldianus)

Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)

Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

Indigobush (Amorpha fruiticosa)

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)  Heading is the preferred method of pruning.

Japanese Spirea (Spirea japonica)

Nandina (Nandina domestica)

Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrange quercifolia)

Peegee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’)

Regel Privet (Ligustrum obtusifolum ‘Regalianum’)

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syracus)  Thinning is the preferred method of pruning.  Remove branches that are too close together.  This may reduce blooms, but each bloom will be larger and showier.

Anthony Waterer Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda)  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Sasanqua Camellia (Camellia sasanqua)

Snowberry  (Symphoricarpos albus)

Snowhill Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Grandiflora’)  Should be cut back to the ground each year.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus)

Winged Euonymus  (Requires only occasional corrective pruning.  Clipping the tips (heading) of select branches will keep the shrubs natural form while controlling size and shape.  Will tolerate hard pruning down to 6-12” to rejuvenate.

These spring flowering shrubs flower on previous season’s growth.  Prune after flowering:

Alternate-leaf Butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia)

Andromeda (Pieris)

Azalea (Rhododendron species)  Heading is the preferred method of pruning.  Cuts should be made on the flowering branches just above the first pair of axil buds (where the leaf stalk joins the stem).  Renewal pruning of old plants can be done in early spring, removing growth down to 6-12”.

Baby’s breath Spirea (Spirea thunbergii)  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning.

Barberry (Berberis sp.)

Bigleaf (Common) Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Bittersweet (Celastrus)

Black Jetbead  (Rhodotypus scandens)

Bridalwreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia)  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning.

Camellia (Camellia species)  Heading is the preferred method of pruning.  Camellia sets it’s buds in late summer to fall.

Chokeberry (Aronia)

Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)

Dogwood (Cornus species)  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.  Dogwoods that produce berries may be pruned in early spring to preserve berries over winter.

Dogwood, Red Osier (Cornus sericea)  Light pruning after bloom may produce a second bloom.  Renewal pruning, removing 1/3 of the oldest branches in SPRING, will produce the best winter color of the red branches.  Older canes tend to lose their color.

Doublefile Viburnum (Viburnum pliatum var. tomentosum)  Only requires occasional corrective pruning.

Deutzia (Deutzia)  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning.

Firethorns (Pyracanta sp.)

Flowering Almond (Prunus species)

Flowering Cherry (Prunus errulata)

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles species)  Fruiting varieties may be pruned in very early spring to preserve fruit over winter.  May be cut back about 1/3 and remove thin and scraggly wood in early spring.

Forsythia (Forsythia species)  Thin select branches down to ground level, and if there are large numbers of new stems rising from the ground, take out the old dark canes down to the soil.  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Gardenia (Gardeia jasminoides)

Golden Currant (Ribes adoratum)

Honeysuckle bush (Diervilla lonicera)  Fruited varieties should be pruned in early spring to preserve fruit over winter.

Holly (Ilex sp.)

Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepsis umbellata)

Japanese Kerria (Kerria japonica)

Japanese Pieris (Pieris jpaonica)

Juneberry or Shadbush or Serviceberry (Amelanchier)

Kerria (Kerria)  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum carlessii)  Only requires occasional corrective pruning and thinning.

Lilacs (common, Chinese and Franch) (Syringa)  Thin by removing old branches in spring.  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Mockorange (Philadelphus species)  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Pea Shrub (Caragna sp.)

Pearlbush (Exochorda)

Pieris Andromedas (Pieris sp.)

Privet or Ligustrums (Ligustrum sp.)

Pyracanta (Pyracanta species)

Rhododendron (Rhododendron)

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)  Only requires occasional corrective pruning.

Shadbush or Junebush or Serviceberry (Amelanchier)

Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria)  Smokebush bloom on wood a couple of years old, so pruning should be kept to a minimum for best blooming.  Thinning and light heading would be preferred.  If an old bush is declining, it will respond to renewal pruning, but may not bloom for a couple of years.

Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum, V. opulus ‘Roseum’)  Only requires occasional corrective pruning.

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)  Only requires occasional corrective pruning.

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus)

Thunberg Spirea (Spiraea thunbergii)

Vanhoutte Spirea (Spirea vanhouttei)  Thin select branches down to ground level, and if there are large numbers of new stems rising from the ground, take out the old dark canes down to the soil.  Will withstand being cut back to the ground for renewal.

Viburnum (Viburnum sp.)

Weigela (Weigela florida)  Light pruning after bloom may produce a second bloom.  Old, declining and underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning

Winter Daphne (Daphne odora)

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

Wisteria (Wisteria species)

Witchhazel (Hamamelis species)

These late summer and fall flowering shrubs do not make their buds ahead of time and keep them over winter.  Buds are formed in spring on new branches.  They should be pruned in fall or very early spring before any growth begins:

Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)  Old, declining or underdeveloped plants will respond well to renewal pruning.

Buddleia  (Buddleia davidii)  Also noted above, cutting back to the ground should be done VERY early each spring.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.)  Also noted above

These summer blooming shrubs bloom on new growth AND last years growth should be pruned in early spring before growth begins, OR after blooming:

Potentilla (Cinquefoil)

These shrubs can be lightly pruned before and after flowering to increase flowering and fruit production.  A second bloom period may result:

Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)

Butterflybush (Buddleia davidii)

Red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Cranberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus)

Spreading Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster divaricatus)

Multiflora contoneaster (Cotoneaster multiflorus)

Anthony Waterer Spirea (Spiraea bumalda)

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Chenault coralberry (Symphoricarpos chenaulti)

Wiegela (Wiegela florida)

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