Best Time To Prune Flowering Shrubs in Phoenix
Different blooming shrubs require pruning at different times of the year depending on when they actually bloom.
Also, pruning should only be done to cut unhealthy branches or branches that do not need to be on the plant for any good purpose. Pruning practises should only be done for the health of the shrub with optimum blooming for the shrub.
These practices have been established by the Sustainable Landscape Management system and are promoted through the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association.
Rule #1 to pruning is to NOT prune at all if that is possible. Shrubs that are allowed to grow to their natural form or size can grow to optimum health for their variety or species. Great examples of this are butterfly bush, hopseed, ruella & justicia.
Rule #2 is spring flowering shrubs after they flower between February thru the first week of June. So you want to wait to see these shrubs bloom before pruning them back at all to give them the opportunity to have their blooming cycle. Examples of these shrubs are rosemary, oleander, valentine bush, brittlebush & natal plum.
Rule #3 is to prune summer flowering shrubs in late winter or early sprig to promote strong growth and blooming in early spring through the summer months here in Phoenix. These bushes are sometimes damaged by frost or have dead branches that need to be cut back. Some examples of these shrubs are bougainvillea, texas sage, honeysuckle, lantana, yellow bells & thevetia.
Rule #4 is never shear flowering plants. Because flowers are grown at the tips of the branches, hedging them removes the buds that would normally bloom and damages the natural form of the bush.
Here is a link to the document where this data was created by SLM through ALCA
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