Flower garden and landscape

Spring pruning of ornamental shrubs and perennial flowers


Gardeners, waking up from hibernation, missed gardening, and their hands seemed to reach for their instruments. But approaching the issue of pruning ornamental plants is important with skill. It is not in vain that they say "measure seven times, and cut once." Our article will help you figure out how to make the plants the right spring "hairstyle", which of the green pets will be happy to respond to a new haircut, and for which residents of the garden with pruning it is better to pause.

Spring pruning of ornamental shrubs and perennial flowers

What decorative shrubs can not be cut in the spring

First of all, let's find out for which decorative shrubs spring pruning is contraindicated. Most shrubs that bloom in spring have flower buds laid last season, so by doing spring pruning you will achieve that the flowering will be very weak or the plant will not form buds at all and will bloom only next year.

Such shrubs include spirea blooming in spring. If you do not know the exact name of the bush, it can be identified by the abundance of corymbose snow-white inflorescences with a honey smell that bloom in early to mid-May. These are, first of all, such species as spirea van gutta, gray spirea, acutely sharp spirea (argument), spiraea town, alpine spirea, nippon spiraea other.

Also on the shoots of last year, one of the earliest flowering shrubs of the middle strip blooms - Forsythia, which is covered with charming golden bells in mid-April.

Spring do not cut and mock ("syringa"), action, Weigel, colquisition, Kerria, blood red currant, large-leaved hydrangea and other plants laying flower buds on last year's shoots.

It is better to carry out so-called sanitary pruning for such shrubs in spring, that is, to remove frozen and broken branches, and for too thickened bushes, old branches can be cut at the base. The main pruning of such shrubs will be carried out immediately after the plants have completely faded.

Early flowering shrubs that form flowers on the shoots of last year cannot be cut in the spring, for example, forsythia

What shrubs need to be pruned in spring

In the best way, pruning will affect those decorative shrubs that are valued for their decorative foliage. As you know, the most brightly colored leaves are precisely in young branches. A strong spring pruning stimulates the appearance of abundant growth, so that the shrubs will look brighter and more elegant.

In addition, in many plants, the bark of young shoots, which can have raspberry, yellow, orange and light green color, also has decorative effect. Thus, pruning shrubs in the spring, you will get expressive colored crowns that will decorate the garden in the off-season.


This type of shrubs is represented mainly by decorative willows: whole-leaved willow Hakuro-Nishiki, purple willow, willow Matsudana, goat willow other. It is also useful to prune such decorative deciduous shrubs as spring derain, Thunberg Barberry and Ottawa, vesicle, elder, hazel (forms with colored foliage purple or golden), privet (golden leaf form) and others.

All these shrubs tolerate pruning completely painlessly, so you can cut them quite strongly, and some willows can even be cut off "to the stump" to form whole "fountains" of young bright branches.

For shrubs flowering on the shoots of the current year, spring pruning is also very desirable. These plants bloom in mid-summer, so thanks to pruning carried out in April, shrubs have time to lay flower buds and bloom on time. Mowing will contribute to the formation of new shoots and the formation of a large number of buds. Therefore, you can not delay with their haircut.


In April, always cut off tree and panicle hydrangea. Tree hydrangea lays flower buds on growths of the current season. You can trim this type of hydrangea quite shortly, leaving branches 20 centimeters high. Old shoots (over two years old) can be cut completely to ground level. Such pruning will provide lush flowering and will maintain a compact form of bushes.

To stimulate re-flowering, snow-white caps can be cut off immediately after they have faded. Most varieties of panicle hydrangea also form flowers on the tops of the shoots of the current year, so spring pruning will also be useful to her. To stimulate flowering, panicle hydrangeas are sheared very shortly, leaving only 4-5 lower buds.

In April, hydrangea treelike and panicled are necessarily cut.


Spirea blooming in the summer, and this is primarily undersized japanese spirea, and Bumald's Spirea, Douglas, felt and loosestrifeSpring haircut is also recommended. All types of spirea tolerate a haircut, so you can remove the entire last year’s growth, while at the same time giving the shrubs a spherical shape.

Most varieties of Japanese spirea are distinguished by bright colors of yellow or reddish foliage, and an intense haircut stimulates the growth of young shoots that look as bright and decorative as possible.

Rose flower

The features of pruning roses depend on which group a particular variety belongs to. But, in any case, flower growers noticed that the most favorable moment for spring pruning of roses is the time of forsythia bloom, since this shrub blooms when severe frosts are already behind.

At hybrid tea and flowerbed roses (polyanthus, floribunda) leave a skeleton of well-developed young skeletal branches. In vigorous varieties, 5-6 shoots should be left, which shorten to 5 buds. If roses grow slowly, then leave four skeletal branches with three buds. At the same time, in the upper branch you always need to leave a kidney directed outward so that the bush has the correct shape. 0.5-1 centimeter retreat from the kidney and make an oblique cut with a sharp knife.

Once blooming climbing roses You can’t cut in the spring, since they plant buds on the shoots of last year. In repairing climbing roses all old shoots are cut, leaving 5-6 strong growths one or two years old, on which all side stems are cut to 3-5 buds. After trimming the whips, it is advisable to immediately bind to the support.

Repair shrub roses (scrubs and park roses) cut to 1 3, and old or weak shoots cut out a cavity at ground level. Such shrubs on young shoots of the current season will bloom. Once blooming shrub roses bloom on the shoots of last year, so they are pruned in the summer immediately after flowering.

Other shrubs

In a separate group of bushes (common barberry, cotoneaster brilliant, viburnum and others) spring pruning is optional. But, in any case, it should not be too strong so as not to damage the flowering. In spring, these shrubs can completely cut old branches to thin out the bush and slightly tweak the shape. But it is better that spring pruning is reduced only to sanitary (removal of frozen, broken and diseased branches), and the main haircut is carried out after flowering.

Some shrubs, such as barberry, are pruned in the spring as desired.

Trimming decorative perennials

Particular attention is paid in spring to shearing ornamental herbs. We remind you that all decorative cereals are divided into evergreen and deciduous. At the same time, many herbs belong to the so-called cold-growing ones (active growth occurs during the cool season in spring and autumn). Therefore, it is very important to clean them as early as possible so that the old foliage does not interfere with the growth of the young.

Deciduous herbs (miscanthus, andropogon, pennisetum, millet, pike, reed, lightning and others) in the spring, cut almost to ground level, leaving only a slight indentation. You can retreat a few centimeters "by eye", but it is better to look into the center of the bush and find awakened growth points and step back a couple of centimeters from them.

Before pruning, it is highly advisable to bind the old leaves tightly into bundles. This technique will facilitate the harvesting process so that the cut tops do not scatter along the flower garden. After trimming, it is recommended to comb the bumps with a rake with wide teeth. Pruning is carried out by secateurs or clippers.

Note: when pruning cereals, it is important to use personal protective equipment, since dry foliage can be very sharp and damage the eyes or skin of the hands. Always wear tight gloves and safety glasses before work.

Evergreen herbs such as fescue, sedge, burns, cecelria, chitnik and others, never cut off completely, otherwise it will become very serious stress for them. In evergreen cereals, you only need to remove dead leaves at the base of the bush and manually comb out the bumps from dead leaves.

Before trimming ornamental grasses, it is highly advisable to tightly bind old leaves in bundles.

Spring pruning of perennial flowers

If you did not cut the faded stems in the fall, you can cut them after the young shoots appear from the ground. Prior to this, the old stems will serve as beacons so as not to accidentally weed out the plants or plant something in their place. This measure is especially relevant for those plants that leave late after winter (for example, host, platicodon).

By it's nature lavender refers to the shrubs, but due to external features, it is perceived by many as a beautifully flowering perennial. It is important to cut this plant every year in the spring, cutting off the tops by one third of the length, and you can also give the plant a spherical shape.

Without a haircut, the lower part of the lavender will be bare; at the bushes, unattractive "bare legs" are obtained. Occasionally, a more radical haircut can be arranged for lavender, but it is important not to cut off the lignified parts of the stem, since the bushes will then branch poorly.

A close relative of lavender perovskia also needs spring pruning. During the winter, the branches of this plant are almost completely frost-bitten, so in spring you need to prune when the plant grows. When pruning, they leave 6-8 centimeters from the ground, but if the stem is completely frozen out, then it is cut off at the soil level, and young shoots will appear from the root.

In evergreens (canoe, cleaner, heichera and others) only old leaves that died during the winter are removed. It is impossible to completely cut off the bushes, this will weaken the plant or even lead to its death.

Do not discard last year's leaves of incense. From the foliage of this plant, which has grown brown during the winter, you can make a delicious tonic drink called "Mongolian tea". To taste, the leaves of the frankincense, which underwent natural fermentation in the winter, resemble exquisite varieties of black tea, while they do not contain tannin, but have a number of useful properties, and are indicated for some diseases. However, the drink has a number of contraindications, therefore, before using it, you need to consult a doctor.

It is important to prune lavender in the spring to give the plant a spherical shape.

Spring pruning vines

One of the most popular beautifully flowering garden vines is clematis and princes. If princes, blooming in May, are usually not pruned, then large-flowered clematis by the type of pruning are divided into two groups - the second and third.

The first group includes princes. They can not be cut in the spring due to early flowering on the shoots of the current year. Summer pruning should also be very gentle, as many varieties of princes can bloom repeatedly.

The most intense spring pruning is subjected to clematis of the third group, which include varieties Clematis Jacquman and clematis violet. If the shoots were not cut in the fall, then in spring, the stems are shortened to a height of 20-30 centimeters from the ground. For the convenience of removing last year's shoots, the stems can be cut in parts. In May, new shoots will grow very quickly in the lower part of the bush, on which buds will appear.

Usually, on the clematis packaging, manufacturers always indicate which trim group the given variety belongs to, the mark is usually made in Roman numerals.

Clematis of the second group (the majority of terry varieties and simple varieties with very large flowers belong to them) give two waves of flowering, and the first begins in June. In this regard, in the spring of such clematis, only shoots or parts of the stem that died during the winter are cut off. And in the middle of summer, faded flowers are removed along with the first pair of leaves. The main pruning of clematis of the second group, when the liana is cut to half, is carried out in late autumn.

Decorative grape and actinidia in spring it is better not to cut. During this period, such vines have a particularly strong sap flow, and the loss of a large number of juices can greatly weaken the plants.

In the case of actinidia, in addition to severe “crying”, which depletes the vine, pruning will also attract cats to the plot, for which the juice of the plant has an intoxicating effect, and animals can damage the plants by nibbling the branches and digging up the roots. Pruning these plants is better to transfer to mid-summer.