How to Prune Plants That Flower in Autumn


Late-season fall or winter flowering plants can be pruned, deadheaded or sheared in the late fall or winter after bloom when grown in temperate climes where frost is not prevalent. In colder climates, it is often safest for the plant to overwinter intact and then be pruned and tidied in the early spring to make way for new green growth. Early spring pruning ensures that the buds for next fall's bloom will not be pruned away.

Step 1

Harvest flowers and flowering branches as desired for use in cut flower arrangements. Place all cuts 1/4-inch above a leaf node or bud to encourage fullness, outward facing branching and repeat bloom.

Step 2

Deadhead spent flower heads throughout the blooming period to encourage repeat bloom and keep the plant looking tidy and well groomed.

Step 3

Hard prune your fall flowering plants in the early spring after the last hard frost has passed but before any new green growth begins to appear. Remove damaged, dead or diseased branches, stems and foliage. Establish the desired height and shape of the plant and thin any interior branches that abrade one another or restrict sunlight penetration and fresh air circulation.

Step 4

Water your fall flowering plants well after pruning to reduce root stress on the plant and support the roots to produce fresh growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs


  • University of Georgia
  • Clemson University
Keywords: fall flowering plants shrubs, prune cut back, harvest shape thin

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.