An early spring pruning can make a massive difference for some plants, and knowing which plants thrive on an end-of-winter trim can set you up for some pretty sweet summer blooms. Here in BC, February and March are prime times for spring pruning, with frost becoming a thing of the past and milder temperatures rapidly approaching on the horizon. It’s also a great time to prepare your garden for a bountiful season. With that in mind, here is what to start pruning over the next six weeks!
Flowering Shrubs to Prune in Your Powell River Garden
Trying to figure out the perfect time to prune your flowering shrubs can be awfully confusing, and the answer always comes down to when they form their flower buds. You want to avoid accidentally snipping off next year’s bloom, but you also want to give your flowering shrubs and trees the boost they need for a fantastic summer ahead. With this in mind, here are the best ways to prune a few common plants this spring:
These high-blooming beauties can be daunting to approach with your shears, but most varieties greatly benefit from a good spring pruning. Here’s how to prune roses effectively and make them look like a million bucks!
- Wear gloves: Don’t even think about pruning those prickly rose bushes without a thick pair of work gloves. You know how much those thorns can hurt!
- Clean your tools: Dirty tools can pass around diseases, so give your pruning shears a good clean to disinfect them before snipping those stems this spring. Also, ensure your tools are sharp and capable of making clean cuts to your spring shrubs to avoid damaging your plants.
- Start low: Begin your pruning by removing any dead canes at the base of your roses and opening up the center of your shrub to let air and light in before working your way further up the plant.
- Remove old wood: Look for any dead, diseased or broken stems and prune them off at an angle, leaving only healthy spring growth intact.
- Get rid of anything too skinny: Remove any canes you find thinner than a pencil. These tiny stems won’t produce many good blooms in the spring, so it’s best to just get rid of them.
- Remove suckers: Remove any sucker growth you find in the spring, as these will not produce flowers.
- Prune new growth: Once you have trimmed any unnecessary branches, shape your roses as you desire.
We love spirea for its enthusiastic growing habits and exuberant blooms from spring to fall. Spirea is one of those plants that really loves to be pruned in spring, and the more you snip, the more it seems to grow! Here’s how to keep your spirea at its best this spring:
- Prune any dead growth: Because spirea grows a lot, it’s important to prune often to keep any old, broken, and spindly branches in check.
- Prune new growth: Spirea grows quite bushy, so keeping it properly trimmed is necessary to allow light and air to reach undergrowth trying to thrive lower down.
- Prune hard: Spirea is very forgiving and grows quite enthusiastically, so don’t be afraid to heavily cut it back this spring, down to even 6″ from the ground if necessary. Such an aggressive pruning will force it to grow back in a flourish, producing dense, bushy flowers as a result.
- Maintain it: Keep deadheading and trimming your spirea repeatedly during the active growing season to keep it looking gorgeous. New flowers bloom quickly when dead flower heads are snipped off.
Now that we’ve got you in the spring pruning spirit, keep it going with some TLC to the rest of your garden! Deciduous trees like cherry, apple, crabapple, plum, yew, dogwood, and juniper can be pruned in late winter to early spring for rejuvenation and a general tidying up. Lavender is another good candidate for spring pruning to stimulate new growth, as it flourishes when old wood is removed.
Leave oak, elm, maple, birch and sycamore trees alone until the fall or winter months. We also don’t recommend pruning rhododendrons, azaleas, or most species of hydrangeas in the spring, either, as their new buds are already formed and raring to go! Rather, we recommend you wait until after they flower to start pruning these varieties.
Need more help with your Powell River spring pruning? We’ve got you covered! Stop by Mother Nature today for friendly, professional advice on pruning, growing, planting, and pet care, and grab everything you need to create your perfect garden paradise this spring!