Jersey Tea is a deciduous shrub that blooms with light blue flowers in the late spring months, followed by bright red seeds during the summer months. Though Jersey Tea can grow in any soil condition, the plant does not fare well with too much water, so it may not do well in rainy regions. Jersey Tea can, however, survive extremely dry conditions, making it an ideal plant for drought-prone regions.
Do any pruning of Jersey Tea during the dormant season, which lasts from the late fall into the early spring. Select a time around February or March to miss most of the major frosts but still have the plant pruned before the bloom season. Pruning after the buds have started to form on your Jersey Tea may prevent spring and summer blooming.
Shear Jersey Tea with pruning shears annually to ensure a stronger bloom each season. Snip up to one-third of the oldest, least productive shoots to encourage the growth of new shoots.
Remove all dead or infected wood from the Jersey Tea. Wood that fails to produce any blooms is more than likely dead. Decaying or insect-infested branches should be removed to prevent the spread of decay or insect-infestation to the rest of the plant.
Trim away any branches that are rubbing against the trunk or against each other. Branches may grow across the center of the tree or too closely together. This can cause them to rub and create wounds in the bark, leaving the area open to infection, which can spread to the rest of the plant and eventually cause it to die.
Cut the plant back to the ground with a pruning saw if the wood above ground dies during harsh winter months, a common occurrence in northern states in the U.S. Even when trimmed back to ground level, the majority of the time Jersey Tea will recover in time to flower for the spring and summer seasons.