Despite the snow and cold that winter brought us, it’s time for spring cleanups! Along with that come lots of questions about pruning.
The following is not a comprehensive list, but some of the commonly found shrubs that flower on new growth and can be trimmed in early spring without impacting flower display (but it might push the flower time to later in the season):
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub)
Cotinus (Smoke Bush)
Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon)
Kolkwitzia (Beauty Bush)
Hypericum (St. Johnswort)
The following plants will not flower this year if they are trimmed past their flower buds now:
H. macrophylla (MOST Bigleaf Hydrangea)
Kalmia latifolia (Mt. Laurel)
Syringa (MOST Lilac)
Viburnum (Other than Summer Snowflake)
The following plants should be noted because they have fall fruit that won’t set if the plants are trimmed past the flowers:
Ilex sp. (Holly)
Keep in mind that these lists do not account for the best time to trim for other aesthetic reasons. For example, Mountain Laurel is best heavily trimmed in early spring if branching at the base is desired, but that would remove many, if not all of the flower buds.