The way you prune a flowering shrub can make a huge impact in the way it flowers as well as its shape, size and any future pest problems. Over time, unpruned shrubs can become woody and won't produce new buds, but a bush that is pruned forces more energy into producing larger, prettier blooms. It is important to time your pruning correctly, so that you do not accidentally remove next year's buds from your plants.
Consult your plant guide to determine when your shrub flowers. This will help you determine when to prune your plant.
Pull on protective clothing before pruning shrubs.
Determine the shape of the shrub you want to maintain. Flowering shrubs should be pruned by cutting back one third of the oldest, woodiest growth to the ground or to the main branch in a technique called thinning.
Plan the entire trimming process including which branches you will cut back before cutting the first branch.
Cut each branch just beyond the point where it forks away from the primary trunk. Each cut should be made at a 45 degree angle away from the main trunk of the shrub.
Swipe your blade or shears with a solution of bleach and water in between cuts to prevent the spread of diseases between shrubs.