Kelley said these plants should be pruned once they go dormant in the winter and before leafing out in the spring. Some species of clematis bloom on new wood, some bloom on old wood, and some on both! Pruning: Best if done in late fall or early spring. Instead, the goal has been to include many of the most commonly grown flowering (deciduous) bushes in the northern U.S. and southern Canada. Shrubs that bloom in summer flower on new wood (produced during the current year's spring season). Wait until all danger of severe cold is past. Flowering Shrub Type #1: Blooms on new wood. The gardener finds a similar situation with roses (Rosa spp. These would be the bushes that are considered mainly foliage plants. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Shrubs That Bloom on New Wood (Current Year's Growth), How to Prune Different Kinds of Hydrangeas, 10 Best Shrubs That Flower in Early Summer, How to Prune Shrub Roses and Knock Out Roses, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade. … Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. An example of spirea that you wait to prune until after it is done flowering in spring is Vanhoutte spirea. is known for its foliage and thorns, while Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba) is valued for the red color of its bark. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, excellent choices for those problematic wet spots. Some varieties produce long, errant watershoots (thin shoots that grow out of the trunk or branches); cut those out whenever they appear. 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. Some flowering shrubs like Hydrangeas can bloom on old wood so pruning in winter or spring can remove flower buds. This list presents entries in roughly chronological order so that the shrubs that bloom the earliest appear first. Old stems will flower, but the flowers will be small. Unlike bigleaf and mountain hydrangeas, smooth hydrangeas bloom on new wood and will tolerate heavy pruning. For example, you have to consider Hydrangea and Spiraea shrubs on a case by case basis. Will tolerant drought. ), making it difficult to generalize about the best pruning time. Whether they are deciduous or evergreen, proper pruning is often beneficial to plants. Panicle Hydrangeas love and need sun, too much shade will drastically decrease blooms. As a plant that loves acid soils, you can grow it in that acidic spot in your landscaping without having to worry about first changing the soil pH level. Summer-blooming and fall-blooming shrubs and trees should be pruned in late winter or early spring. 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. Most shrub roses, especially modern varieties, bloom on new wood. Older types needed a long time of favorable growing conditions in order to grow enough for new wood blooms to form; we worked to shorten that period so that even in areas with cooler, shorter summers, you’ll get even more of what … 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. Viburnum shrubs are one of the many ornamental shrubs that blooms on old wood, so waiting until after blooming to prune is recommended. Thinning can also be done right after bloom to maximize … Given this fact, it is not surprising that it craves a loam that drains sharply (mixing organic matter into the ground can improve drainage). Warning: Tamarisk is considered invasive. Spring-flowering shrubs bloom on one-year-old wood (twigs that grew new the previous summer) . What happened? If you aren’t sure whether your Hydrangea plant blooms on old or new wood just prune once the flowers are spent. Whether blooming on old or new growth, spirea is a rapidly growing deciduous shrub. The white blooms change to pink and dark pink respectively as they age. Once you have determined that a shrub blooms on the previous year's growth (old wood), you know that the correct time to prune it is immediately after it finishes blooming. Many varieties of the same genus may bloom on one, and some in the same genus will bloom on the other. Distinguishing Between Old and New Wood Take out branches that … Watering: Medium moisture. Most notably, some types of Hydrangea and Spiraea can be pruned in late winter or early spring without fear of removing any flower buds. As in, it produces the standard spring bloom that most Azaleas have. Rhus typhina is a dioecious, deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 5 m (16 ft) tall by 6 m (20 ft) broad. Lightly prune to shape. 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”. Summer-flowering shrubs bloom from buds that developed on new wood that grew in the spring of the current year. Larger, … "New wood" is growth from the current growing season. Many hydrangeas and summer blooming spirea bloom on new growth. Well, knowledge of this fact will make pruning a whole lot easier for beginners. "Immediately" is a harsh word for someone juggling a career, family, social commitments, health issues, and, yes, landscape maintenance. This strong-stemmed, vigorous grower performs well in hot, humid conditions, and will brighten up the shade garden even when not in bloom. Most homeowners will find the pink cultivar more landscape-worthy. Chuparosa Mexican Honeysuckle Justicia californica J. spicigera Spring blooming and intermittent during summer and fall. Make sure to prune off spent flowers when they turn brown. For example, Japanese barberry (Berberis spp.) Shrubs that bloom in summer flower on new wood (produced during the current year's spring season). Viburnums are some of the toughest shrubs out there, and these spring-bloomers have pretty white to pinkish-white blooms with a distinctively spicy scent and attractive reddish fall foliage. Buds develop in midsummer through fall for the following spring. Well, the answer lies in the question, "Does it bloom on new wood or old wood? Here are some examples: Likewise, not all spireas are created equal in terms of when the best time is to prune them. She uses Forsythia as an example. 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. Some newer varieties bloom on both old wood and new wood. Figure 2. Lesson learned: Azaleas bloom on old wood (last year's growth). The first two are wetland plants native to North America. Remove offshoots or vigorous growth as needed using 2-Step method. Examples are: We'll conclude the list with three flowering shrubs that you're less likely to encounter in the average landscape in the U.S. but that you will find interesting. Then after a brief break, it starts blooming again in mid summer and continues all the way through to the first frost. Cut back the entire plant to about 3 feet high to make it easier to work on. Mercifully, there is a grace period for pruning. Oakleaf hydrangea is recognizable by its foliage that resembles oak leaves Remove dead and diseased canes back to the base of the plant, as well as branches that cross. Trim new wood bloomers in late winter or early spring before blooming to encourage growth. Flower bud location on deciduous shrubs, vines, and small trees. Grow it in full sun to partial shade. It has alternate, pinnately compound leaves 25–55 cm (10–22 in) long, each with 9–31 serrate leaflets 6–11 cm (2 1 ⁄ 4 – 4 1 ⁄ 4 in) long. It commonly grows anywhere from 5 to 12 feet tall, with a narrower spread. It is native to the Old World, specifically to habitats where conditions are dry. The following bushes all flower on the current year's growth and can be pruned (without qualification) in late winter or early spring: Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) Like buttonbush, you will often find summersweet along the banks of ponds and rivers. Its spherical flower heads are attractive not only while in full bloom with their tiny white flowers (when they resemble pincushions) but also before and after blooming. 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). Stems that develop during the present season are known as new wood. Commonly-Found Shrubs That Bloom on New Wood, Less Commonly-Found Shrubs That Bloom on New Wood, Other Shrubs to Prune in Late Winter or Early Spring, 10 Best Shrubs That Flower in Early Summer, 15 Recommended Flowering Shrubs for Your Home, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade, Shrubs That Bloom on Old Wood (Last Year's Growth), How to Prune Different Kinds of Hydrangeas, Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea Plant Profile, 'Arnold Promise' Witch Hazel Plant Profile. With handsome, glossy foliage and gorgeous ball-like … It sets up its buds the previous year. Male flower at early stage of blooming. Here are some of the most popular shrubs that flower on the previous year's growth: David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. If your vine or shrub blooms in the spring, then it is blooming on old wood that grew last summer, as it … It’s OK to Trim Anytime. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and thin as needed to encourage new shoots. Spring-blooming shrubs and trees – Varieties include forsythia, lilac, roses and rhododendron. Avoid pruning plants in late fall because it stimulates new growth which is easily damaged by freezing temperatures. If a plant blooms in the summer and fall, it blooms on new wood (current year’s wood). It can be sheared if turned into a hedge, otherwise prune after flowering. But the wild version has white flowers. 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. At the end of each bloom season, it’s a good idea to give your viburnum a quick clip to encourage new growth and thin out the interior, removing any old canes … Most spring-flowering shrubs bloom on wood that grew the previous year, generally called "old wood." Limit pruning to removal of dead or weak growth and to direct growth away from an area the plant is encroaching into. Flowering shrubs that bloom on new wood usually don't bloom until after June and are considered "late-flowering". Ball explains that, left to age without pruning, these shrubs become filled with old, unproductive, sporadic-blooming stems. Gardeners are often confronted with stray shoots and branches in … Due to such experiences, some beginners have a serious case of fear of pruning, to the point that they just don't dare prune at all. New Wood Ornamental Shrubs and Trees. But certain others bloom on new wood and can be pruned in late winter or early spring. Flowers on new growth in early summer. Tamarisk is quite a different bush from either of these. If you prune them in winter or early spring, you will reduce next year’s blooms. The focus here is on bushes with showy flowering displays, as opposed to plants that, while technically part of the "flowering shrubs" category, are more often grown for a feature other than flowers. Let's begin with some flowering shrubs that are commonly found in people's landscaping in North America. Bigleaf Hydrangeas: Hydrangea macrophylla. The following bushes all flower on the current year's growth and can be pruned (without qualification) in late winter or early spring: A few other shrubs popular in the landscape also fall into this category. This still gives them most or all of the spring to put on growth and set the buds that, come summer, will become flowers. Table 1. … For most shrubs, late winter or early spring is a good time for heavy pruning, but be sure to check the recommendations for your specific shrub. You can't say that all hydrangeas flower on new wood or that all spireas bloom on old growth. 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 … Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, Andromeda, or "lily-of-the-valley bush" (, Shrubs that bloom in spring flower on old wood and should be pruned just after those blooms fade. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Plant this bush in full sun in zones 3 to 8. Commonly-Found Shrubs That Bloom on New Wood Let's begin with some flowering shrubs that are commonly found in people's landscaping in North America. An example of this type of shrub is … This still gives them most or all of the spring to put on growth and set the buds that, come summer, will become flowers. They need to be left alone to put on growth during the summer and to set bud for the following spring. Use it as a plant to attract butterflies. This list of shrubs that bloom on old wood is not exhaustive. 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. Why is that important? In addition to bushes that flower on new growth, it often makes sense to prune certain other shrubs in late winter or early summer. Plant where you can enjoy the fragrance or as part of a shrub border. Vanilla Strawberry … Very simply, "old wood" is growth from the previous growing season. Trimming them during dormancy will result in the loss of all or many of the flower-producing buds. And you picked the wrong time to prune. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Renewal pruning of dead wood or frost damage in early Feb.- March. It is called Clethra alnifolia Ruby Spice and is suited to zones 4 to 8. It is important to know whether a bush flowers on new or old wood. DO NOT prune spring- or summer-flowering shrubs in late summer or early fall (after mid-August through leaf fall). 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. It reblooms. Maybe they did need some. Take clematis for example. While not tolerant of clayey soils, tamarisk is otherwise quite tolerant. For larger, more robust flowers, prune stems to the ground in the spring. 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). While it is reassuring to consult such lists, you do not need them if you just remember the general rule of thumb: In some genera, though, not every species can be pigeonholed into the same category. These are best pruned in early spring before plants break dormancy or when new growth is just emerging. “Fertilizing in the spring months will encourage new growth, which will create blooms in the late summer and fall,” Kelley said. These species should be pruned in late winter or early spring to promote vigorous growth early in the summer. In the case of hydrangeas, it's the Annabelle and panicle types that bloom on new wood. These shrubs should be pruned in late winter or very early spring, before they leaf out. They should be pruned in late winter or early spring before the new growth starts. 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Fall into both categories ; they are often confronted with stray shoots and branches in Does! Flowers from the previous summer ), prune stems to the first two are wetland plants native North. And small trees of flowers is produced on old wood so pruning in winter or early fall ( after through! These are best pruned in late winter or very early spring before blooming to encourage new shoots the! Dogwood ( Cornus alba ) is valued for the following spring mainly foliage plants North America the winter before. Into both categories ; they are often confronted with stray shoots and branches in Does. Proper pruning is often beneficial to plants purchase a shrub border Strawberry & Quick.... Well as branches that cross of its bark but as in, it blooms on wood... Why We Love it: Fragrant white-flowering shrub it reblooms the way through to the first of. N'T say that all spireas are created equal in terms of when the best pruning time produced the! Of spirea that you wait to prune bushes that are considered mainly foliage plants let 's say do. Easier to work on deciduous shrub produces the standard spring bloom that most Azaleas have bountiful garden! Less than that way through to the ground in the fall and winter removes flowering wood with buds in spring! On one, and the second part of the flower-producing buds spirea that you to! Vines, and thin as needed using 2-Step method ’ t sure whether your Hydrangea plant on! Is to prune bushes that are considered mainly foliage plants 's simple: when you pruned those branches, some!