Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Pruning, Pinching and Clipping back Shrubs

Pruning shrubs can be done is several different ways to address particular needs.

Pinching is done to the tips of young shoots or plants to make them bushy by branching out. Even annuals like petunias can be pinched back to make the plant produce more flowers. Or if youblackberry want to increase the height of a bush, then you would pinch out the lateral shoots so all the growth will go into the one you leave.

The difference between Clipping Back, Pruning and Pinching

Clipping back has the opposite effect. It makes a shrub denser and bushier. To clip you should cut around the whole perimeter of the shrub, taking off the new or uneven growth. Clipping can be done with shears rather than pruners, as several tips can be done at once that way. Clipping is good for evergreens that are grown for their foliage rather than their flowers.

Three basic tools suffice for most pruning jobs: shears, loppers, and a pruning saw. Keep them sharp for clean cuts; disinfect after pruning diseased material.

Pruning cuts should be done correctly to direct the new growth outward and promote healing. Find an outward facing bud and make the pruning cut close to it. The cut should slope upwards at about a 45-degree angle.

Azaleas and rhododendrons should not be pruned in the fall or early spring as their buds are set in the fall.

Instead, prune them after their spring flowering flush to allow further development of branches that will set bud for the following year. If your azaleas seem to have long woody growth under their leaves, cut these right back and new growth will develop, rejuvenating the bush completely.

Roses are Pruned in Winter


Prune roses in the winter so that there is minimum damage to branches during winter's snowy blizzards. Cut off dull or gray growth and prune to an open vase shape. Suckers, branches that grow inwards or across others and twisted or knotted branches should be taken out. The idea is to allow lots of sunlight and air to pass through the branches when they are in full leaf to minimize disease.

Good Tools are at the basis of a good prune. If your equipment is not sharp or strong enough you can do more harm then you might think.

When the roses are flowering, you need to prune off the dead flowers and any blind shoots to about four inches. The winter pruning should be a hard one, but the summer or spring pruning must be light. For climbing roses, shorten the canes to about half their length. Always clean up all pruning from shrubs to prevent disease and mildew.

Pruning shrubs is necessity when to keep them as strong and healthy as possible.

Annual And Seasonal Pruning
Pruning, Pinching and Clipping Shrubs
Pruning Blackberry Bushes
Pruning Apple Trees
Pruning Grapes
Pruning Raspberries