The Q&A Archives: Spring maintaining

Question: I have a rhody, burning bush,hydrenga, azalea (sp!), as well as a Rose of Sharon, rose bush, and mums. This is my first

Answer: The rhododendron, burning bush, azalea and rose of Sharon do not need much if any pruning, exception being to remove dead or damaged branches. The hydrangea may need pruning if it is the bigleaf or H. macrophylla type. Prune out any stems that are winterkilled but limit pruning to that because it blooms on old wood that grew the year before. If you have a PeeGee or H. paniculata, it could be pruned for shape if desired in late winter, otherwise simply remove dead or damaged branches as they occur. The ideal rose pruning will depend on what type of rose it is (shrub rose or hybrid tea or climber) however you can remove dead or damaged canes on this as well.

Mums tend to do best if divided every year or two. Wait until you see new growth beginning to come up from the ground around the outer edge of the plant. Cut away last years stems. Dig up the plant and divide it into sections. Discard the old center and keep the vigorous new growth portions from the perimeter. Replant each piece where you would like a new mum. You can make larger or smaller divisions depending on how many plants you want. Be sure to pinch it periodically until about the fourth of July so it regrows nice and dense.

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