Questions and Answers about Hedges & Shrubs

Question:
Please explain how and when to prune a pink spirea.

Answer:
Prune your pink spirea in early spring. You should prune the spirea on a regular basis to thin out old wood. This variety bloom on new wood, so the plants and flowers will look best when the old wood is cut back. In general, it is best to thin out up to one-third of the oldest stems and remove overcrowded growth each year. If the spirea needs to be rejuvenated, you can also cut it down almost to the ground.

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Question:
How do I "train" gardenia bushes to grow thick and wide for privacy? What is the best time of year to drastically cut the bushes to a lower height? Is there a particular way to cut the bushes?

Answer:
Pruning the taller stems should encourage new growth on the top. Thin out any twiggy or diseased branches to promote a more bushy plant. Pinching the tips of growing shoots will also encourage more branching.

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Question:
How should I prune overgrown azaleas?

Answer:
Azaleas generally respond well to being cut back drastically. You can cut stems to several inches in length on the main stems. The best time to do this is in the early spring or right after flowering if you don't want to give up a season of blooms. To avoid overgrowth again, cut back your azaleas on a regular basis. In fact, pinching off the tips of the stems in early spring will encourage heavier blooming.

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