Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Alexandria, Ke
Question by jsparkie57
March 6, 2010
How do I prune my Rose of Sharon shrubs? How much should I cut back? Can I cut the top to decrease the size? Sorry I am a new gardener and not sure of what to do? Thanks..Josette

Answer from NGA
March 6, 2010


Rose of Sharon can be pruned all the way down to the ground, or a lightly as you prefer. In some parts of the country they freeze down to ground level each winter and resprout each spring. This keeps them slightly smaller than in regions where they don't regularly freeze down to ground level. I wouldn't lop the top off, though. If you do, all the new growth will develop at the top of the plant, and then it will be too tall again. I'd do more of a renovation pruning to reduce its size. Start by completely pruning out one third to one half of the stems and then pruning the entire shrub back by at least a half. If you don't want your shrub to have a uniform or sheared hedge look, you can reduce the length of the stems in a random way so it more imitates a natural growth habit. You won't hurt your shrub by pruning it back.

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