The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: When is the best time to prune Lacy Leaf Hydrangeas?
Also, when is the best time to prune roses and what is the best way to do the pruning?

Answer: Both hydrageas and roses should be pruned in the spring. Hydrangeas bloom on new shoots which develop on old wood. In the spring, just as the buds begin to swell, cut the stems down to 2-3 buds (about knee high). New shoots will emerge from the buds and each of these shoots should develop flowers. You can completely remove any old, dead stems (usually gray in color). As for roses, follow the same pattern: cut everything down to about knee level and then choose 3-5 of the healthiest looking canes and remove the rest. Your goal is to have a vase shape at the bottom of the plant. Once you've cut away the oldest growth you can shorten the remaining canes, cutting them down to an outward facing bud (the direction you want the new growth to take).

Best wishes with your landscape!

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