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

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.

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