I have azaleas, butterfly bush, crape myrtles, rose of Sharon, and Knockout roses. Can I prune them now that we have had couple hard frosts?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Wilma in Kentucky: Pruning can be done to thin, shape, and rejuvenate our flowering shrubs. The correct time to prune them depends on what the shrub is and what time of year it blooms. As a general rule we prune spring-flowering shrubs after they have finished blooming. This includes all plants that flower before June 1. For the summer-flowering shrubs, those that bloom after June 1, they should be pruned during the winter months or in the early spring before new growth begins. It is best not to prune more than one-third of any shrub at one time. If you need to take more than one-third off your plant, do it during consecutive years. It is fine to prune any broken, diseased, or dead branches off as soon as you notice them. At this point we are sort of in between pruning opportunities. It is too late to prune your azaleas and too soon to prune your rose of Sharon, crape myrtle, roses, and butterfly bush. If you need proper pruning instructions, visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho59/ho59.htm