This time of the year many shrubs need shaping and a light pruning. It is important to prune the colorful hydrangeas and azaleas now, so they will have blooms next year. So, here are a few tips on specific plants.
- Azaleas – Prune as soon as possible, as evergreen azaleas will be setting their buds for the next bloom season soon. Even if you pruned these after they flowered, many times there are shoots with whorls of stems that look out of place. I like to remove these shoots now so when they flower, the massing will be more of regular vs. erratic look.
- Boxwood – Oftentimes after boxwoods go through early summer, I like to cut off unwanted shoots and wayward branches. I always try to prune boxwoods so you cannot see the cut. This is very easy with tip pruning, if you go back to a space where other branches and leaves cover the cuts.
- Crepe myrtle – As the first round of flowers fade, you can cut off the old buds just below the blooms, and oftentimes they will put on a second set of blooms but most of the time they are smaller.
- Gardenias – Once these finish blooming I cut these plants as severely as needed. I like to prune these now, so they will become dense before the fall weather arrives. This is when I do any type of radical pruning they need. Here is a case where I always fertilize these plants soon after pruning.
- Hydrangeas – Once the blooms of any of the hydrangeas finish, I like to remove the heads. But the mop head types need to be pruned and shaped now, as they will set next years bud quickly once they are finished blooming.
- Random Shoots on Evergreens – Go deep into the plants and remove them. Make sure that you do not make a hole into the plant. Stand back and see if removing the awkward shoot improves the look of the plant before making the cut.