How to Prune Late-Flowering Shrubs

Shrubs that arrive a bit late to the blooming game should be trimmed in early spring. Follow these simple steps to inspire new blossoms.

Mock Orange Summer Blooms Highly Scented

Mock Orange Summer Blooms Highly Scented

Philadelphus, Mock Orange, is one of the really outstanding late spring to early summer flowering deciduous shrubs. It is by far the most popular due to its very pleasant fragrance and attractive white flowers. Grow near a walkway or patio.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

From:

Materials Needed

  • sharp pruners

Step 1: Cut Stems

After Flowering, Cut Stems Just Above Ground

After Flowering, Cut Stems Just Above Ground

Spring flowering shrubs, such as philadelphus, become straggly and untidy unless pruned every year. As soon as the flowers are over, cut back all stems carrying dead flowers. Follow stem down and cut just above the point where it grows out of main branch.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

As soon as this shrub has finished flowering, cut back about a quarter of the oldest flowering stems to 6 inches (15 cm) above the ground.

Step 2: Remove Dead Stems

Remove Dead, Diseased, and Damaged Stems

Remove Dead, Diseased, and Damaged Stems

Remove or cut back to the base, dead or any wood that is diseased or insect ridden using sharp clean pruners.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

First remove any dead, damaged, or diseased stems, cutting them back to the base of the plant using sharp, clean pruners.

Step 3: Prune Old Growth

Prune Out Growth of Stems From Previous Year

Prune Out Growth of Stems From Previous Year

Prune out and remove all of the stems from the previous year. Cut back to 2 or 4 buds from the old wood. This will encourage a new flush of growth.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prune out stems of the previous year's growth, cutting them back to about 2 or 4 buds from the old wood. This will encourage a new flush of growth.

Step 4: Trim Tips 

Trim Tips of Any Young Strong Stems on Plant

Trim Tips of Any Young Strong Stems on Plant

Trim the mock orange tips of any strong young stems to encourage more blooms lower on the stem.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Finally, trim the tips of any strong young stems that are already present in the plant. This encourages them to branch further down, resulting in more flowers.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Plant Shrubs

Learn how to plant shrubs in your garden with these five easy steps. 

How to Plant Shrubs

Shrubs add structure and fill out your garden, providing density and dimensionality where it's most needed. They're simpler to install than you may know. Here, we walk you through it.

How to Prune Shrubs

When you prune a shrub depends mostly on when it blooms. Here are the basics of pruning woody plants.

Planting a Shrub

Use these step-by-step instructions to easily plant an evergreen shrub.

How to Prune an Early-Flowering Shrub

Follow these steps to prune shrubs that flower before midsummer.

Pruning Shrubs

Horticulturist Maureen Gilmer explains how to properly maintain shrubs.

Planting Shrubs from Containers

If you have just bought a container-grown shrub, first water it well by plunging it in water for about an hour, then allow it to drain. 

Pruning Early-Flowering Shrubs

Eager shrubs that flower in early summer should be trimmed when blooms fade. Follow these simple steps to inspire new blossoms.

Propagating Plants: Layering Shrubs and Climbers

The stems of climbers and shrubs sometimes root when they touch the soil, and you can harness this tendency to make new plants.

How to Choose, Plant and Grow Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs provide multi-season interest. Learn how to add them to your garden with these tips.

This call

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.