How To Garden Flowering Bushes


Flowering bushes add color to dividing hedges, borders and other areas where a larger but colorful plant is needed. The bushes may flower all summer long or may only flower for a brief period in spring or summer. The rest of the season they are adorned with attractive foliage. Proper care of your flowering bushes ensures they bloom abundantly and look their best all season long. While specific care requirements differ between the varieties, there are things that all flowering shrubs have in common.

Step 1

Water first-year bushes once a week, providing approximately 1 inch of water per plant. Water established flowering bushes during dry periods or when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry.

Step 2

Lay a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark, around the bushes to help retain soil moisture. Leave a space between the bush's trunk and the mulch so moisture doesn't collect on the trunk and cause rot.

Step 3

Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in early spring right before the bush begins actively growing again. Follow fertilizer label application instructions or apply 4 oz. of fertilizer per 1 foot of height the bush has.

Step 4

Prune flowering shrubs in late winter or after blooming but before they begin producing new flower buds. Remove dead or damaged branches to maintain plant health. Remove branches that are more than two years old on many shrubs to thin them out or maintain the desired shape of the plant.

Step 5

Remove spent blossoms from flowering shrubs to improve their appearance and help prolong the blooming period. Pinch the wilted flowers off the bush just beneath the flower head and discard.

Tips and Warnings

  • De-icing products that are used in winter may leach into the soil and damage bushes growing near walkways and driveways.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Deciduous Shrubs
Keywords: garden flower bushes, flowering shrub care, maintaining bush blooms

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.