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Pruning Spring Blooming Flowers

Tips on when and how to prune your blooming flowers.

Nashville, Ark. – Pruning is a very important aspect of gardening. Before you go for the pruning shears, you need to be able to answer three questions. Why are you pruning? When should you prune the specific plants, you are growing? How should the plant be pruned?


In general, plants that bloom in the spring should be pruned immediately following blooming and plants that bloom in the summer should be pruned before growth begins in late February. You should be pruning your spring blooming plants now, but you need to wait until next year to prune your summer blooming plants. However, there are a few exceptions to these rules such as gardenias and some hydrangeas. Roses, fruit trees, small fruits and ornamental grasses also have specific pruning requirements. When heading into the winter season, you should not prune your plants. This would expose more of your plants to damage. When temperatures get below freezing, your plants may look wilted or shriveled, but they are frozen. Frozen plants can be brittle, so you should leave them alone and wait for the temperatures rise above freezing. Some general tips for pruning include:

  • Formal pruning requires much more work than a natural look in the landscape.
  • One or two topiary plants can be enough in a landscape--too many and it will get too busy.
  • Large shade trees should not be pruned by the home gardener but knowing what is expected of a tree trimmer is important to avoid major damage to your trees.
  • Make sure that you have clean, sharp pruning shears and that the size of the pruning tool fits the size of the branches you are pruning.
  • Pruning paints or wound dressings are not needed, and in some cases can actually hinder the recovery time of the pruned areas.


For more information on pruning, you can contact the Howard County Extension office at 870-845-7517 or find helpful fact sheets on our website at


By Dawson Bailey
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Dawson Bailey
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.