How to Trim a Flowering Shrub


If you have striking flowering shrubs planted in your yard, it can be hard to come to terms with trimming them. You may be fearful that pruning them back will cause them to lose their ability to produce abundant blooms. Actually, not trimming them allows them to become overgrown, scraggly and lose their ability to produce sizable and colorful blossoms. With simple care practices, you can become comfortable with trimming a flowering shrub in order to maintain its striking presence in your yard.

Step 1

Determine if you have a spring flowering shrub or a summer flowering shrub. To do this, observe when it blooms. The trimming methods for these vary, as they set their buds in different times of the year. Spring flowering shrubs should be thinned right after blooming. Summer flowering shrubs set their buds in the spring, so they should be pruned in early spring, before growth starts.

Step 2

Cut off branches one by one. You want to thin your shrub out to maximize new wood growth. Do this by cutting branches at alternate lengths within your shrub.

Step 3

Maintain the natural shape of the shrub. Shrubs should be wider at the base and narrower at top. This will allow sunlight and rain to reach the lower branches easily and keep them lush and green.

Step 4

Remove one-third of the oldest wood each year. This wood should be removed down to ground level. Doing this will stimulate new flowering growth from the base of the shrub, providing you with more blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Colorado State University Extension: Pruning Flowering Shrubs
Keywords: trim a flowering shrub, pruning shears, rejuvenation pruning, oldest wood, maintain the natural shape

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.