Thursday, December 30, 2010

When to prune what

Spring's around the corner, and our Wildscape will soon need pruning. But which plant when? Many gardeners say that plants should be pruned in late winter or early spring. That's because pruning any earlier stimulates new growth that could be harmed by hard freezes.

On the "Central Texas Gardener Blog," producer Linda Lehmusvirta offered tips last January. Check out her advice here. She recommends pruning flame acanthus, firebush and other woodies down to stubs in January. And extension agent Daphne Richards on "Central Texas Gardener" last February talked about when and what to prune in Central Texas landscapes. According to Richards, the best time to prune shrubs, roses, fruit trees and ornamental grasses is in the late winter. She cautions, though, not to prune fruit trees too late or you'll prune off flowering and fruiting buds. As for root hardy shrubs, like lantanas, she says, "When you see new growth come up from the ground, prune off everything above ground."

Integrity Tree Service in Phoenix, Arizona, links to comprehensive pruning list entitled "Salvaging Sheared Plants."

As I research and learn more, I'll add to this list. Feel free to send me your suggestions/advice, too.

American beautyberry Prune to 12 inches high or all the way to the ground
(Species only flowers and bears fruit on new growth)

Blue mistflower I cut down the dead growth (very tedious) and leave it on the ground

Copper canyon daisy Cut to the ground

Esperanza Cut to the ground

sage Shear outer edges, cut out woody stems above new growth

Cut to the ground when you see new growth
Mexican bush sage Cut to the ground

Salvias Cut back, remove dead wood

'Indigo Spires' Cut to the ground

Wedelia (zexmenia) Cut to the ground (light summer pruning promotes more flowering)

Roses  Prune branches 12-18" high, remove dead wood, leave three to eight canes, cut above leaf bud that faces outward. Check out pruning tips by the Weekend Gardener.

Mexican oregano

Shrimp plant 

UPDATE SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2011–Horticulturalist Calvin Finch wrote about pruning in today's San Antonio Express-News. Read what he says: "Before you grab the shears, first plan, then prune."

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