By G. Bosley a.k.a. “groundhog”

Found a lovely shrub at the garden centre a few years ago only to discover that it grew a bit larger than you wanted it to be?  Is it blocking a view?  Perhaps your plant is older and needs a drastic pruning to be rejuvenated.

There are a few landscape shrubs that can be pruned back by perhaps 1 or 2 feet in the early spring.  This will help control the size of growth, creating a more dense and compact plant. 

 I like to do severe pruning just before the new spring buds break.  With some plants the first seasons blooms may be sacrificed.  If the plant blooms in early spring you can wait until the bloom has finished.

Drastically pruning shrubs will cause a flush of new growth which may attract aphids and other garden pests.  If your garden has a good eco-balance Mother Nature should take care of the pests.  Severe pruning does put a plant under stress, so it is best to select plants that are suitable for the location and can be maintained with light pruning.

  • Barberry/Berberis                                 
  • Beautybush/Kolwitzia
  • Potentilla
  • Deutzia
  • Dogwood/Cornus
  • Currant/Ribes
  • Forsythia
  • Honeysuckle/Lonicera
  • Hydrangea
  • Mock Orange/Philadelphus
  • Privet/Ligustrum
  • Pea Shrub/Caragana
  • Spirea
  • Willow/Salix

I welcome your comments or you can contact me at

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