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Pruning Plants: When to Prune What When & How

Many plants, trees & shrubs benefit from regular pruning. But when to you prune which plants? Here are some tips.

How and When to Prune Which Plants
Pruning can be very intimidating and daunting. Take heart, it's the rare plant that is killed by pruning. Think of it as tough love. Most plants grow better and stay healthier with a little selective pruning. You just have to know how and when to do it.

Selecting Tools for Pruning Plants, Trees & Shrubs
Pruning may be good for plants, but bad pruning can be tough on both the plant and your hands. Be sure you choose the right tool for the task, to avoid tearing and damaging a plant. Here are 4 tools for most all your pruning jobs.

Deadheading, Pinching and Cutting Back Flowers
Flowers require their own version of pruning. By removing spent flowers, you can force the plant to bloom even more. The techniques shown here will keep you garden lush and colorful.

Apples - Pruning an Overgrown Tree
Apples are not the easiest plant to grow. They are prone to all sorts of pests and diseases and they require regular pruning to keep producing lots of apples. If you've let your apple tree get out of hand, here's a tutorial to help you get it back in shape.

Clematis - When to Prune Which Clematis
Clematis plants can seem difficult and confusing. They are very particular about their growing conditions and when they get pruned. But once you master these, clematis are a joy in the garden. When to prune clematis comes down to the question of when your clematis blooms. It really is that simple.

Evergreens: Can You Prune Evergreen Trees?
Part of the beauty of evergreen trees is that they never need pruning. Unfortunately we sometimes plant them in a space too small for their mature size. If you want to control their size or improve their fullness, you can do some spring pruning, just before the new needles unfold.

Flowering Trees and Shrubs: When to Prune Spring Bloomers
Wouldn't it be nice if you could get all your pruning done at once and be done with it? Unfortunately, when to prune flowering trees and shrubs all depends on when they set their flower buds. Prune at the wrong time of year and you won't get any flowers. Here's some help for knowing when to grab your pruners.

Hydrangeas - When To Prune Hydrangeas
Modern hydrangeas can keep blooming no matter when you prune them, but the old-fashioned types can be a puzzle. It all starts with knowing what type of hydrangea you have. If you've been confounded by a hydrangea that doesn't bloom, this breakdown should help.

Peach and Other Stone Fruit Trees: Pruning
Most stone fruits require minimal pruning and training. This excellent guide, from Colorado State Extension provides clear, easy to follow instructions and diagrams for pruning peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and almonds, so they stay healthy and productive.

Perennial Plants to Prune in the Fall
It can be nice to leave some perennials standing for winter interest and to feed the birds, but some plants don't like being smothered by collapsed foliage and any that have had problems with pests and diseases will provide safe harbor for the problems to over-winter. The following list of perennial flowers are best cut back in the fall.

Perennial Plants to Prune in the Spring
Four season interest in the garden is nice. Dried flowers hold onto snow like frosting. Seed heads feed the birds. But some perennials don’t handle cold weather well. The following list is a recommendation of plants that are best pruned in the spring.

Raspberry and Blackberry Plants - Pruning
Brambles like raspberries and blackberries need regular pruning to keep bearing large, healthy crops and to prevent them from taking over your garden. Don’t let this scare you off of growing them. Pruning brambles is actually a simple procedure, if you follow these steps.

Rose - When to Prune
Different types of roses require slightly different care, but they all need some pruning to stay healthy and flowering. Here's a breakdown of how and when to prune your roses. Grab your heavy gloves and sharp pruners and let's go.

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