You discovered your error later that spring when the flowers you expected to come never showed up. Summer-blooming and fall-blooming shrubs and trees should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Vanilla Strawberry … Interestingly, some types of hydrangeas fall into both categories; they are called "reblooming hydrangeas.". Make sure to prune off spent flowers when they turn brown. These shrubs spend the first part of the season producing new wood, and the second part of the same season flowering. In addition to bushes that flower on new growth, it often makes sense to prune certain other shrubs in late winter or early summer. Stems that develop during the present season are known as new wood. Remove offshoots or vigorous growth as needed using 2-Step method. It commonly grows anywhere from 5 to 12 feet tall, with a narrower spread. By contrast, a shrub that blooms on new wood can be pruned much earlier in the year. Note that a shrub's inclusion on this list does not mean that you necessarily have to prune it every year, but only that, if you do choose to prune it, the ideal time to do so is right after it is done flowering. That's not good either. Summer-flowering shrubs bloom from buds that developed on new wood that grew in the spring of the current year. In her book, Caring for Perennials (p.37), Janet Macunovich helps us calculate the grace period: "Give the plant three months of good growing between the time you cut it and when you expect to see it bloom" (although months during which the plant will be dormant do not count). Distinguishing Between Old and New Wood Here are some examples: Likewise, not all spireas are created equal in terms of when the best time is to prune them. These shrubs should be pruned in late winter or very early spring, before they leaf out. Rhododendron, azalea Rhododendron species little pruning is needed; renewal prune when dormant Rose Rosa species climbers and ramblers: bloom in early summer on old wood, prune after flowering, leave new growth for next year hybrid bush-type: flowers on new wood; remove dead canes and cut back in spring; shrub roses: prune out old, diseased, or unwanted canes in spring, head-back after flowering Trees and shrubs that bloom in early spring, such as forsythia, lilac, honeysuckle, quince and spirea, set their flower buds the previous fall, referred to as “flowering on old wood”. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood set their flower buds in late summer on stalks that have been on the plant since the previous year. Avoid shearing. But as in other areas of life, timing is important in landscaping. It tolerates: The Summer Glow cultivar (Tamarix ramosissima Summer Glow) has rosy pink flowers and can grow quite large (often 12 feet tall, with a spread of about 9 feet, at maturity). Whether blooming on old or new growth, spirea is a rapidly growing deciduous shrub. Trimming them during dormancy will result in the loss of all or many of the flower-producing buds. This list of shrubs that bloom on old wood is not exhaustive. For larger, more robust flowers, prune stems to the ground in the spring. Take out branches that … The advice to prune bushes that bloom on last year's growth immediately after they finish flowering may seem unrealistic to some gardeners. Tamarisk is quite a different bush from either of these. Then after a brief break, it starts blooming again in mid summer and continues all the way through to the first frost. Prune right after blooming; you have a window of 4-6 weeks to prune the plant before the new buds are set. Summer blooming shrubs Conversely, shrubs that bloom later in summer and fall tend to "bloom on new wood," which means they set flower buds on the current season's growth. Most shrub roses, especially modern varieties, bloom on new wood. Table 1. It is called Clethra alnifolia Ruby Spice and is suited to zones 4 to 8. Remove dead and diseased canes back to the base of the plant, as well as branches that cross. Maybe they did need some. DO NOT prune spring- or summer-flowering shrubs in late summer or early fall (after mid-August through leaf fall). These species should be pruned in late winter or early spring to promote vigorous growth early in the summer. Of Note: The flowers are large ranging from 6 to 12 inches long and are held upright on the shrub. … Renewal pruning of dead wood or frost damage in early Feb.- March. Lightly prune to shape. The fact that they grow in wetlands in the wild is your cue that they're excellent choices for those problematic wet spots in your yard: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) likes full to partial sun and can be grown in growing zones 5 to 9. Keep the plant label when you purchase a shrub so you know both the botanical name of the species and the cultivated variety name. Shrubs that bloom in summer flower on new wood (produced during the current year's spring season). Mercifully, there is a grace period for pruning. Wait until all danger of severe cold is past. They should be pruned in late winter or early spring before the new growth starts. … Trimming a flowering shrub that is supposed to be cut back in late winter or early spring can result in better flowering and a more compact shape. Ball explains that, left to age without pruning, these shrubs become filled with old, unproductive, sporadic-blooming stems. Blooms on new wood. Let's begin with some flowering shrubs that are commonly found in people's landscaping in North America. She uses Forsythia as an example. If your bush is not on this list, simply assume (until you've researched it further) that the best time to prune it will be right after it finishes blooming (as is the case for the majority of flowering shrubs). Blooms on: Scientific Name Common Name Old Wood New Wood Abeliophyllum white forsythia X Amelanchier serviceberry X Aronia Chokeberry X Berberis Barberry X Buddleia davidii butterfly-bush X Calycanthus sweet shrub X X Campsis radicans trumpet vine X Caragana Peashrub X Cephalanthus buttonbush X Cercis Redbud X … To keep the shrubs looking nice, you can snip a few of the oldest or tallest stems near the soil line and clip off spent blooms just below the flower head. Shrubs that bloom on new wood, such as spiraeas, potentillas and smooth hydrangeas, can die back from winter cold or hungry critters and grow new stems that yield bountiful blossoms come summer. Use it as a plant to attract butterflies. is known for its foliage and thorns, while Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba) is valued for the red color of its bark. An example of spirea that you wait to prune until after it is done flowering in spring is Vanhoutte spirea. Given this fact, it is not surprising that it craves a loam that drains sharply (mixing organic matter into the ground can improve drainage). Well, knowledge of this fact will make pruning a whole lot easier for beginners. Many varieties of the same genus may bloom on one, and some in the same genus will bloom on the other. Old wood" and "new wood" are phrases that come up often in horticulture, especially in relation to flowering shrubs and pruning. Since they are not valued for their blooms, you might as well practice size-control on them (if desired) early in the growing season, before they get out of hand. Kelley said these plants should be pruned once they go dormant in the winter and before leafing out in the spring. Since glossy abelia (A. xgrandiflora) blooms on new wood, prune in late winter to early spring before new growth emerges so that flowers are not sacrificed. Examples include: David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. But certain others bloom on new wood and can be pruned in late winter or early spring. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. You can't say that all hydrangeas flower on new wood or that all spireas bloom on old growth. Remove old woody stems to rejuvenate. Flowering shrubs that bloom on new wood usually don't bloom until after June and are considered "late-flowering". Take careful note, however, that this advice applies only to the particular kinds of hydrangeas and spireas (because other types flower on the prior year's growth; for example, oakleaf hydrangea).