Pruning may seem like a straightforward task, but there’s a lot more to it than you might realize. Rejuvenation pruning is a landscaping method that involves cutting a plant down to its very base. To some, this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but it’s necessary for some plants and shrubs to grow to their fullest, healthiest potential. However, rejuvenation pruning is not the best method for all shrubs and there’s a lot to know before you start out. This comprehensive guide will steer you in the right direction when beginning your rejuvenation pruning process.
Which Shrubs Can Be Pruned?
You should first consider which shrubs of yours can tolerate rejuvenation pruning. This gardening method works best on twiggy, multi-stemmed shrubs, such as dogwood, spirea, and viburnums. If the plant you’re considering cutting down only has one stem, don’t chop it down. Plants that have been damaged by drought or disease should recover fully before being pruned. All evergreen shrubs should be pruned lightly and never cut down to their stump, or they will never grow back.
How Does Pruning Help?
You also may be asking, “what’s the point?” Over time, shrubs may become crowded and lose their desired shape. You may notice that parts of the shrub seem to be dying and not flowering during its peak months. At this point, simple thinning won’t be of any use, and you have to take more extreme measures. Rejuvenation pruning allows the shrub to start fresh and grow (literally) from the ground up again. For colorful shrubs that seem to have lost their luster over the years, rejuvenation pruning will bring these shrubs back to life and allow them to be perhaps even more colorful than they were, to begin with.
When Should I Prune?
Timing is everything in gardening and landscaping, so be sure to know when the right time is to begin your rejuvenation pruning. A good rule of thumb to start pruning in the early spring, right before plants start to flower and new growth begins. Rejuvenation pruning doesn’t need to be done as frequently as regular pruning. In fact, it’s necessary only every three to five years. The frequency of your rejuvenation pruning depends mainly on the status of your shrubs. Over-pruning may cause your shrubs to become weakened from the stress of too much pruning. If you’re unsure of whether or not your shrubs require complete rejuvenation pruning, a local landscaping service can help you figure out what the best solutions are.
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