Pruning Deciduous Shrubs

Gardening Tips

Deciduous shrubs lose their leaves in winter and tend to flower in spring or early summer. Early-flowering shrubs are pruned after flowering, usually in late winter to spring and early summer (depending on the shrub). Deciduous shrubs usually flower on the previous year’s growth, so pruning immediately after flowering allows the maximum time for development of young growth to provide the following year’s flowers before the end of summer.

How To Prune A Spring Flowering Shrub


Annual pruning can encourage strong, healthy shoots and improve flowering. It can also prolong the life of these early-flowering shrubs.

How To Prune

Pruning largely depends on the type of shrub, but all early-flowering shrubs need routine removal of damaged, diseased or dead wood:

  • Cut out any damaged or dead shoots back to their point of origin or to ground level.
  • Where there are many stems remove some to ground level to keep the bush open and avoid congestion.
  • Take out any weak, spindly or twiggy shoots right to the point of origin or to ground level so the plant concentrates its resources on strong new shoots that will bear the best flowers.

Newly planted shrubs only need trimming and shaping to allow them time to become established.