Trees and Shrubs forum: Pruning Schedule

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Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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stormyla
Sep 1, 2010 1:26 AM CST
Neal and Polly, It's getting to be that time of year. Do you think that maybe there could be some talk of what to prune now, especially among the Hydrangeas? Thanks.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Sep 3, 2010 6:35 AM CST
That's a good idea Stormy, just before checking this Cubit today I was considering adding a Hydrangea forum. The paniculata types aren't as fussy as the mop heads about pruning, but I'm not sure what the recommendation is on the time of year that's best. I'll do some looking and see what I find. Most blooming shrubs are best pruned just after flowering, especially spring blooming shrubs.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Sep 3, 2010 6:40 AM CST
This site has some good info:

http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/pruning.html
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 3, 2010 8:46 AM CST
Thanks, Neal. That's a good one. Two that always confuse me are Smoke Bush and Buddleia.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Sep 3, 2010 10:10 AM CST
Do you mean confusing as far as pruning? I'm not sure about Smoke bush, but Buddleia is best cut back in spring. I actually prefer to cut mine way back, to about 12". Our winters used to be such that butterfly bushes were regularly killed back to the roots anyway, but the last several years that's not been the case. But I've still found that they have a prettier shape if I go ahead and cut them all the way back. One year I experimented, leaving 1 and cutting the others back, and they both started blooming at about the same time.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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stormyla
Sep 3, 2010 11:10 AM CST
Yes, I was referring to the pruning. Last year I cut one of the Buddleia back and it did not take it well. Looks a mess this year. Some branches never recovered. It was one of the gold colored ones. I don't prune them very aggressively. They are growing in shade, so they don't get hugh. Neal, I'm afraid that for us in the Mid Atlantic, this is such a tough year to diagnose any problems as the weather has been so drastically different than normal.

I had read that Buddleia would continue to bloom if you dead head it. Last year I dead headed The "White Profusions". This year they hardly bloomed at all. Normally I would prune them in spring, but hardly any of them got any decent growth at all this summer.

Smoke Bush grew a lot and needs a severe cut back, both of them. I'm not sure of whether to do it now or in the spring.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Sep 3, 2010 12:33 PM CST
Sometimes fall pruning can effect winter hardiness, so when in doubt, I'd go for spring. This site recommends spring pruning for smoke bush, but says they bloom on wood that is a couple of years old, and you may sacrifice some blooms. If the growth has to be at least 2 years old, then you'd be sacrificing blooms in fall or spring anyway.

I don't think last years dead heading of White Profusion would have effected the bloom this year, more likely something to do with the weather. Really though, don't be afraid to prune them aggressively- I just leave a stump. Its best to wait till you see signs of new growth in spring, then cut them back.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 3, 2010 12:40 PM CST
Neal, When you said "this site", what site were you referring to?
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Sep 3, 2010 12:46 PM CST
The one I forgot to post, LOL.

http://hsny.blogspot.com/2007/09/best-time-to-prune-smokebus...
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 3, 2010 1:09 PM CST
Thanks, Neal. That's a good article. These plants have been a mystery because of the irregular blooming. Now I see that it may have been due to the pruning.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Sep 4, 2010 7:04 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

I prune my buddliea back after I see new growth in the spring. Here it usually dies back to the snow line. But if you wait until you see new growth in the spring, Mary, and cut it back to there, it will still grow to over 6 feet, unless you have the mini ones.

As far as Hydrangea paniculata goes, I prune mine in spring, which normally only consists of cutting the dead flower heads off, but sometimes I cut back a little more. Early spring, when you're starting to clean up the garden. I don't think you can hurt those, though. Prune pretty much anytime.
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 4, 2010 7:26 AM CST
Polly, I keep forgetting, paniculatas are mopheads, right?
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
Image
PollyK
Sep 4, 2010 7:42 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

No, paniculatas are like Limelight, Quickfire, Little Lamb, those kinds.
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 4, 2010 7:46 AM CST
OK thanks, Are the mopheads the macrophylias?
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
Image
PollyK
Sep 4, 2010 7:48 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Yes. Unfortunately not hardy here.
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
stormyla
Sep 4, 2010 7:54 AM CST
LOL Polly, they are winter hardy here, but unfortunately quite a few turned out not to be summer hardy here this year. Sheesh!

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