9 Fashionable Shrubs to Prune in February

February is a month of preparation within the backyard for the spring season forward. In some circumstances, that includes dusting off your shears and finishing a late winter pruning session to spice up progress within the coming months.

The perfect time to prune differs from plant to plant. Not each shrub advantages from pruning in late winter – many are pruned in fall as an alternative. However you probably have any of those 9 shrubs in your backyard, February is the proper time to trim.


Close-up shot of blooming Garden roses in a sunny garden. Garden roses present a stunning appearance characterized by their lush, full blooms and vibrant colors. These perennial flowering plants feature large, multi-layered petals arranged in a symmetrical pattern, forming elegant, cup-shaped or rosette-like blossoms. The blooms come in soft pink color.
In hotter climates, prune roses in February for higher spring progress.

For these in hotter climates (USDA Zone 8 and above), February is a perfect time to chop again your roses. That is the annual exhausting pruning session for shrub roses, the place canes are reduce considerably. That is adopted by a lightweight pruning later within the 12 months to advertise higher flowering.

Late winter offers the chance to prune to reinvigorate your roses simply earlier than spring progress kicks off however with out the hazard of chilly harm. This boosts progress throughout spring and summer time, maximizing the variety of flowers you get to get pleasure from. Pruning additionally provides you an opportunity to take away any broken or diseased stems to present the plant a contemporary begin with out battle.

Utilizing a pair of sharp and clear pruning shears, reduce the canes right down to 1-2 toes above the bottom. Trim the weaker stems again additional, leaving just a little extra size within the thickest and strongest ones. Take away any indicators of winter harm, crossing stems or stems rising towards the middle slightly than outwards to enhance airflow as soon as the leaves begin to fill out.

Butterfly Bush

Close-up of a flowering Buddleja bush in a garden with a blurred background. Buddleja, commonly known as butterfly bush, presents a striking appearance characterized by its tall, arching branches adorned with dense clusters of fragrant flowers. The flowers come in purple. They are tubular or funnel-shaped and attract butterflies. The foliage is lance-shaped, with a gray-green hue, providing an attractive backdrop to the vibrant blooms.
Prune Buddleja in February after recognizing new progress for higher flowering.

Buddleja doesn’t require late winter pruning when you’re comfortable to let the plant develop naturally. Nevertheless, these vigorous growers can change into leggy and top-heavy over time, leaving you with just a few flowers on the very high of the shrub. To maintain progress dense and enhance flowering, pruning in February is advisable.

It’s vital to attend till you see new progress in your butterfly bush earlier than you reduce. As this shrub blooms on new wooden, reducing again too early can negatively affect flowering in summer time. Look out for inexperienced, leafy progress as your signal to begin trimming.

Begin by eradicating any lifeless or broken stems and reducing the remaining ones right down to a couple of foot excessive, proper above the brand new leaf progress. Take away any crossing stems and form the plant, prepared for brand new progress to emerge. When you shouldn’t reduce an excessive amount of, these vigorous growers often bounce again effectively, even when you do make a mistake.


Close-up of a Beautyberry in a sunny garden. The plant features arching branches adorned with clusters of small, vibrant purple berries that encircle the stems, creating a captivating display. The foliage is typically ovate to lance-shaped, with a bright green color that complements the vibrant berries.
Prune Callicarpa shrubs in late winter for plentiful fall berries.

Beautyberry shrubs (Callicarpa) are recognized for his or her shiny purple berries, including a novel pop of colour to fall gardens. However to make sure your plant is full of berries this fall, pruning in late winter is finest. This retains your entire plant tidy and productive, as they have a tendency to change into unruly when left alone.

The extent of pruning you do will depend upon the scale you need your bush to be. A heavy trim – down to some inches above the bottom – will preserve the bush compact all through the season. If you’d like them to develop just a little taller, depart some extra size on the bush by reducing again about one-third.

Since these shrubs are giant, you’ll see a lot faster outcomes utilizing robust loppers. Don’t be afraid to trim closely – you’ll nonetheless see flowers and berries this season, even with a significant cutback. Minimize all of the branches to round 8 – 10 inches tall to fully reinvigorate the plant, or reduce a 3rd of the branches when you want to maintain the prevailing progress.


Close-up of Boxwood in a flower bed in a garden. This bush is trimmed into a neatly rounded shape. It features dense, compact foliage comprised of small, glossy leaves that are oval to lanceolate in shape, giving the shrub a refined and formal look. The leaves are dark green in color.
Commonly trim Buxus hedges for structural attraction.

Anybody with a neat Buxus hedge will know pruning is a daily job. Trimming is commonly required to keep up the structural look these vegetation are recognized for. Whether or not your boxwood is lining a path otherwise you’re attempting topiary, it’s good to all the time have pruning shears available.

However if you wish to scale back the scale of the shrub or reinvigorate drained progress, reducing again extra considerably in February (no less than, greater than the fast cuts you’ll make when shaping) is the proper time for gardeners in hotter zones. This can create house for brand new and wholesome progress in spring, creating the dense and luxurious look we’re after.

Boxwoods don’t reply effectively to heavy pruning, so by no means take away greater than one-third of the plant at a time. I like to stay to 1 quarter at a time, simply to be protected. When you do want to chop again extra, achieve this in phases all through spring to stop shock, giving the branches time to get better earlier than reducing once more.

Crepe Myrtle

Close-up of a flowering Crepe Myrtle bush against a blurred blue sky background. It produces clusters of crinkled, crepe-like flowers in shades of pink, creating a spectacular display. The leaves are lance-shaped, with smooth margins and pointed tips.
Restrained pruning maintains crepe myrtle’s form and avoids stunted progress.

Crepe myrtle is one other shrub that advantages from restrained pruning slightly than a significant chop. Technically, they don’t often must be pruned in any respect when you’re pleased with the form and there aren’t any points with harm or illness. However when you do need to prune, it’s very important to chop fastidiously to keep away from stunted progress and weak stems.

The objective of pruning crepe myrtle is to enhance airflow between branches and keep a neat, upright form. Don’t reduce the tops of all of the branches as you’d with another shrubs – this will depart you with thick stumps and a blocky form. Skinny just a few branches on the outer edges and take away any broken progress, preserving about 5 trunks to enhance form.

Whereas pruning shears are appropriate for minor trims, you could want robust loppers or a pruning noticed to fully take away any of the thicker branches.

Sure Hydrangeas

Close-up of a flowering Hydrangea paniculata bush in a sunny garden. Hydrangea paniculata displays a distinctive appearance marked by its large, conical flower clusters and robust, deciduous shrub structure. The panicles emerge in summer, starting as creamy-white blooms that gradually transition to shades of pink as they mature. The flowers are densely packed, creating a showy and elongated display. The foliage is deep green, ovate in shape, with serrated edges and a pointed tip.
Prune sure hydrangeas in February for more healthy spring progress.

Some hydrangeas are excellent for pruning in February earlier than spring progress begins. Nevertheless, not all species match on this class. Clean (Hydrangea arborescens) and panicle (Hydrangea paniculata) hydrangeas must be pruned in late winter or early spring. Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) must be pruned as quickly as they end flowering.

For panicle hydrangeas, reduce the branches again to simply above a bud to encourage new, wholesome progress proper earlier than spring. Additionally, take away any lifeless or broken sections and clear up the form to maintain the bush tidy the next season.

As soon as established, clean hydrangeas can deal with a tougher trim, virtually right down to soil degree if you wish to handle dimension. If not, merely take away areas of dense progress and competing branches to enhance airflow. Additionally, reduce off any broken or diseased areas to direct vitality towards new and wholesome progress.


Close-up of a flowering Abelia bush in a sunny garden. Abelia, scientifically known as Abelia × grandiflora, is a graceful and versatile evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub. It features arching branches adorned with small, glossy, ovate to lance-shaped leaves that are dark green with a bronze tint. Abelia produces clusters of tubular, bell-shaped flowers that are white.
Prune the shrub in February for dimension management and backyard neatness.

Abelias don’t want annual pruning to thrive, particularly in the event that they’re rising fortunately as they’re. However when you wish to preserve your backyard neat or need to management dimension, February is a good time to chop again these flowering shrubs in a number of areas.

You must prune earlier than any new progress emerges, as trimming too late will affect flowering later within the 12 months. The extent of pruning you do will depend upon the efficiency of the plant. You may reduce them right down to the bottom to fully reinvigorate progress or just take away broken branches and reduce weaker stems to enhance form.

Abelia branches can change into fairly robust as they age. In case you are doing heavy pruning, a pruning noticed could also be required to get via the thicker sections. For the remainder, loppers ought to do the trick.

Rose of Sharon

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus syriacus against a blurred blue sky background. It typically features multiple upright stems adorned with glossy, dark green leaves that are ovate to lanceolate in shape, creating a dense and lush canopy. Rose of Sharon produces large, funnel-shaped flowers in shades of pink, each with a prominent central stigma and stamens. The blooms have contrasting dark crimson colors at their throats, adding visual interest to the plant.
Prune Hibiscus in late winter for higher blooming potential.

Hibiscus syriacus is grown for its large, colourful blooms in summer time. Pruning in late winter isn’t completely mandatory however will be useful on bigger or underperforming bushes to spice up blooming potential.

Rose of Sharon has the potential to develop taller than 10 toes, with the precise dimension depending on the variability you select. If you wish to handle its dimension and preserve the shrub compact, reduce the branches yearly. When you’re simply pruning to enhance well being, take away broken areas and sections of leggy progress, leaving the remainder of the branches to proceed rising.

The extent of pruning will affect each the variety of flowers you see that season and their dimension. Mild pruning will enhance flower manufacturing, whereas heavy pruning will scale back the quantity of flowers. Nevertheless, the less flowers will probably be bigger in dimension in comparison with these on a calmly pruned bush.


Close-up of a blooming Wisteria in a sunny garden. Wisteria, a woody climbing vine of the Fabaceae family, is renowned for its spectacular display of cascading flowers and vigorous growth. Wisteria adorns itself with pendulous clusters of fragrant, pea-like flowers in shades of lavender. The compound leaves are comprised of numerous small, ovate leaflets that emerge after the flowers, providing an elegant backdrop to the blooms.
Prune wisterias to manage progress and encourage flowering.

Wisterias are recognized for vigorous progress, a lot in order that some species are invasive in just a few areas of the US. Pruning can management the speedy progress of those shrubs (even if you’re rising a non-invasive native species) or reinvigorate progress on older wisterias that aren’t flowering in addition to they used to.

A light-weight prune is often all that’s required for youthful vegetation in February. This can enable you create the specified form you’re after or help in coaching the vines alongside a construction. Older wisterias with sparse progress will profit from heavy pruning, doubtlessly reducing some branches again to the primary wholesome bud.

One other spherical of pruning is required in summer time to skinny dense progress and encourage one other spherical of flowers. Trim facet shoots and undesirable progress on the base to maintain the general look neat and tidy.

Remaining Ideas

February is the proper time to pull out your shears and saws to prune these 9 shrubs. Be sure to have a transparent plan earlier than you make any cuts – you may’t put branches again when you take away them.

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