How to Trim Flowering Bushes


Flowering bushes provide fragrant and visually stimulating blooms in your yard. To maximize the flowering potential of your bush, you need to prune it occasionally. Flowering bushes that do not receive pruning become scraggly and unkempt looking. The amount of blooms also significantly decreases since plants predominantly bloom on new wood. Trim flowering bushes every year to ensure maximum blooms and healthy plants. Doing this is really easy and you only need a few tools to do this task.

Step 1

Practice good pruning methods. This means most pruning should be done in spring. Pruning in the summer or fall will remove next year's buds. You will then be left with few or no blooms the following year.

Step 2

Prune back excessively long branches one by one by cutting them all the way back into the bush.

Step 3

Remove one-third of the oldest wood all the way to the ground each year. Do this in spring before the bush leafs out for easier access.

Step 4

Maintain a natural shape of the bush when shearing. Shear a flowering bush so that it is wider on the bottom than the top. This will encourage sunlight and rain to reach the entire bush. If the bush is wider on top, the lower portion will be shaded out which causes a woody-looking base.

Step 5

Practice rejuvenation pruning every three to five years. Prune the bush back all the way to the ground. This will provide a compact, youthful-looking plant with maximum blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or saw


  • Colorado State University Extension: Pruning Flowering Shrubs
  • Texas A & M AgriLife Extension: Follow Proper Pruning Techniques
Keywords: trim flowering bushes, excessively long branches, rejuvenation pruning, natural shape, youthful-looking plant, rounded ball

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.