Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Willingboro, Ne
Question by bonniedejean
February 12, 2011
I have Skip Laurels, Weigelia, Rhododendrons and Crepe Mertyle plants.
When is the best time to prune them in the Spring and to what degree? Such as, how much can be taken off without injury to the plant?
Also, I use 10-10-10 fertilizer. I applied it in the fall, but when is the best time in the Spring?
Margaret DeJean

Answer from NGA
February 12, 2011


With the exception of your rhododendrons, you can prune your shrubs back in the late winter or early spring. Wait until after your rhodies bloom and then prune them back. As a rule, all your shrubs can be reduced in size by about one-third without stressing them too much. If you need to reduce their sizes by more than that, plan on doing it over a 2-3 year period. You can feed in the spring as soon as you see new growth appearing on your plants. When shrubs are actively growing they will use the nutrients you provide and respond with lots of new growth. Hope this answers all your questions.

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