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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614

Pruning Woody Rain Garden Shrubs

Pruning Your Woody Rain Garden Shrubs


Prune summer and fall flowering shrubs in early spring before buds break and the plants leaf out. These are shrubs that "bloom on new wood," or the current season's growth.


Late winter - early spring

  • Redtwig dogwood
  • Sweetshrub
  • Summersweet
  • Smooth hydrangea

Prune spring-blooming shrubs as soon as they finish flowering. These are the plants that "bloom on old wood," meaning they set next year's flower buds promptly after blooming. If you prune too early the plant will not bloom this year, and if you prune too late there will be no flowers next year.

After flowering

  • Ninebark
  • Virginia sweetspire
  • Viburnum


General Pruning Tips

  • At planting time

Remove dead or broken branches when you plant the tree or shrub, then prune to shape during the following dormant season. Thin out branches for good spacing. Pruning is the best preventative maintenance you can give a young plant.

  • At any time

Prune a diseased plant at any time of the year. Remove the diseased parts as soon as you notice them. Sanitize your tools in a ten percent solution of household bleach (one part bleach to nine parts water) to prevent spread of infection.