The Q&A Archives: cutting back

Question: I want to add some variegated pieris japonica to my existing landscaping, but don't want them to get too big. Will it be bad for the plants, or make them look funny, if I cut them back to keep them on the smaller side?

Answer: You can prune pieris back to keep it on the smaller side. The best way to have it look normal and natural is to prune regularly, cutting the stems at various lengths. I just reach inside the plant and grab a stem, then shake it so I can see how much of the whole plant I'll be removing if I choose to cut it off. With a little practice you'll be able to keep your pieris trimmed withou having them look like they've gotten a bad haircut.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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