Tag Archives: shrubs

Shrub Pruning Season Almost Over

Don’t be confused about when to prune your shrubs. Although my father had good intentions, he tested many shrubs ability to withstand severe pruning at the wrong time of the year. Don’t prune just because it’s convenient for you or you don’t know when to prune.

My approach to designing landscapes and gardens includes selecting plants for their anticipated mature size. Some plants really prosper and grow bigger than expected. In these cases, they may need some pruning to control their size. There are a few shrubs that need to be pruned severely every year or two in order to produce a more beautiful, lush plant, such as Redtwig Dogwood and Bluebeard. Most low-maintenance shrubs will only require light pruning to improve their shape or remove damaged or diseased stems. Yes, even the best plants can have problems at times.

Spring Blooming Shrubs

Simply stated, spring flowering shrubs should be pruned shortly after they finish flowering. The reason is that they set their buds for next years flowers after they bloom. If you prune them now, you’ll cut off next spring’s flower buds. If they need pruning, wait until next spring after they bloom.

Summer Pruning

Light pruning of other shrubs in your Asheville landscape should be pruned by the middle or end of July. Pruning will prompt new growth. This new growth needs time to harden off before cold weather comes. If they’re pruned after July, the new growth is in danger of being killed or damaged by autumn frosts. Then, you’ll have even more pruning to do and a damaged shrub.

Fertilizing Shrubs

This guideline also applies to fertilizing your shrubs. It’s not advisable to fertilize during periods of hot, dry weather like we’ve experienced this summer. It will prompt new growth and take energy out of your shrubs while they may be struggling just to survive the dry weather.

Ideal Pruning Times

Minimal pruning can be done during cold weather when the plant is dormant. I always enjoy cutting evergreens to use as holiday decorations. Removal of dead or damaged stems should be done as soon as the problems are noticed. The best time to prune summer flowering shrubs is in late winter through early spring. Evergreens should generally be pruned in early spring after danger of frost has passed.

Here’s the caveat.

Although we’ve had rain this week, it’s been dry and hot this summer. Unless you absolutely have to prune or fertilize your shrubs, it would be best to wait until next year, and hopefully, the weather conditions aren’t putting so much stress on them.

If you need help with your landscape and gardens, please contact us.

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

PO Box 19004

Asheville, NC 28815




Landscape Care in July

It’s the middle of July, and it’s been unusually hot and humid in Asheville this summer. I hope that you’re enjoying summer blooming shrubs and flowers in your landscape.

Here’s a few tips to improve the look of your landscape now:

  1. When you deadhead (cut off spent blooms), cut a few extra nice flowers to use in a floral arrangement in your house. You can also use flowers, foliage and stems from shrubs and trees. Crush the ends of woody stems with a hammer or something similar so that water can go up the stems.
  2. July is the month when you need to finish any pruning of your shrubs. You may want to prune off wild shoots, dead stems or suckers to improve their appearance while keeping the shape natural. The next safe time to prune shrubs is after they go dormant in the winter. If you prune after July, any new growth will not have a chance to harden off before cold weather and may suffer damage.
  3. If you prune spring flowering shrubs now, you’ll be pruning off next spring’s buds and won’t have as plentiful floral display. The time to prune them is after they finish blooming next year.
  4. If you don’t have an irrigation systems, water your plants, especially your trees, during periods of hot, dry weather. Landscapes and gardens planted less than one year are still getting established and need to be watered deeply every two to three days when we haven’t had much rain. Check the soil moisture around the plant roots and water if it’s not moist. Established plants that aren’t drought tolerant may also need to be watered. Water each plant in the morning or evening.

I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me with your questions or comments.