April Pruning Tip

Chris Kennedy’s Green Gardener early April tip of the week. Let’s talk about pruning. Early spring is the time to cleanup and prune back tender perennials such as Hosta, Coneflowers, Sedums and all of your ornamental grasses. Cut them as close to the ground as possible. Woodier perennials such as Catmint, Russian Sage and Montauk Daisies should be cut back, but it is best to leave last year’s stems about 3-6” long. It is also time to cut back Butterfly Bushes and Roses. They can be cut back dramatically to about 18-24” from the ground. Climbing roses shouls not be cut back, but thinned out as needed. Later flowering shrubs such as Spirea, Rose-of-Sharon and PG Hydrangea can be pruned back and shaped now. Please resist the urge to cut back the typical blue and pink hydrangeas, any significant pruning can be detrimental to them blooming this summer. Also be patient with spring flowering shrubs such as Azaleas, Rhododendron, and lilacs. Spring pruning will remove the flower buds, so avoid this unless you are willing to sacrifice the flowers. Follow up your pruning with a boost of organic fertilizer. Have a great week in the garden!