Melinda's Garden How-To: Early Season Pruning & Grooming - Pasquesi Home and Gardens
Melinda's Garden How-To: Early Season Pruning & Grooming

Melinda’s Garden How-To: Early Season Pruning & Grooming

Pruning Shrubs and Roses
Limited pruning is needed this time of the year.

Spring Flowering Shrub: Finish any needed pruning on spring flowering shrubs. Lilacs, forsythia and other spring bloomers will soon form their flowerbuds for next spring’s floral display. Pruning at other times eliminates the spring blossom.

Repair Damage: Remove any wayward, broken or diseased branches. Visit Pasquesi’s Youtube page to watch our pruning video.

Roses: Deadhead repeat blooming and hybrid tea roses, once the single stemmed flower or all the flowers in the cluster fade to encourage repeat bloom. In general, cut back the stem to the first five-leaflet leaf. Leave at least 2 five-leaflet leaves to encourage vigorous and stout new growth. Stop deadheading in late summer to allow plants to harden off for winter and form rose hips for you and the birds to enjoy.

Pinching and Pruning Perennials
Pinching and pruning some late blooming perennials encourages shorter more compact growth and may eliminate the need to stake.

Mums and Asters – Pinch mums and tall asters back to 6 inches throughout June. This encourages compact growth while still allowing enough time for the plants to flower in late summer to fall.

Russian sage and Autumn Joy sedum – Reduce problems with floppy growth by moving plants to a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Or cut the plants back halfway in mid June to encourage stiff upright growth.

Boltonia, Heliopsis, Joe Pye weed, sneezeweed and Purple coneflower – pinch back all or some of the stems to encourage stiffer growth. Pinch just the outer ring of stems to encourage stiff growth to support the rest of the plant. Or pinch back some but not all plants to delay bloom and extend the flower display.

Common Bleeding Heart – Cut back plants as flowers fade. This eliminates reseeding and encourages new growth that may last all season.

Amsonia and Baptisia – Cut these plants back by about one third after flowering. You’ll encourage fresh new growth and a tidier appearance. This will eliminate the attractive black pods on the Baptisia.

Columbine – Cut back dead or miner infested (white serpentine lines) leaves. The new growth with be fresh and pest free.

Bearded iris and Perennial Geranium – Cut back unsightly leaves on bearded iris after flowering. Leave healthy leaves intact. Remove spotted leaves on perennial geranium as new growth emerges from the ground.

Removing faded flowers may encourage additional bloom, improve the overall beauty and in some cases reduce disease problems.

Lamb’s Ear – Remove flowers as they form to encourage better looking foliage, more compact growth and an overall neater appearance.

Peonies – Remove faded flowers if you do not like the look of the seedpods or if the flowers were diseased. This will not encourage additional flowering.

Columbine, valerian, and other self-seeding perennials – Remove faded flowers to prevent large numbers of unwanted seedlings.


Written by, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!

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