Tips to Prune Your Plants

Regular pruning and trimming of your bushes maintains health and vigor of your plants in your lawn and garden. However, overdoing it, neglecting such maintenance, or doing it at the wrong times of the year can do more harm than good. In this article we will go over the when and how much to prune when it comes to deciduous bushes in Victoria BC.

Health and Bloom

Flowering Garden Bush

Some shrubs bloom in Summer while others bloom in Spring. Bushes that bloom in the summer including potentilla bloom based on its growth during the current year. Bushes that bloom in the Spring such as lilac bloom based on their growth from the previous year since they are mostly dormant in Winter and early Spring. As blooming and fruiting requires a lot of energy, our pruning strategy will be based around these events.

An overgrown plant should be pruned in late Winter early Spring. By timing this right before they flower, the plant will divert the energy into rejuvenating itself for the next 2-3 years. Such pruning should be fairly aggressive but will trigger the plant to regrow into a healthier fuller state.

For healthy plants, some light trimming and pruning should be down right after flowering. In this way you are able to enjoy the flowers in your garden while maintaining the overall health of the plant by preventing overgrowth or fruiting.

If your plants are pruned in the Summer or Fall, it can trigger new growth in the plants’ limbs that then will not have sufficient time to harden and mature enough for winter. For this reason, this is to be avoided as it could damage the health of the plant.

Pruning Trees

When it comes to trees, the best time to prune is in Winter as the absence of foliage helps to keep things clear and visible. Pruning during this time also allows trees to heal most quickly as this is the time of the year when fresh plant wounds are compartmentalized most rapidly in these trees. Additionally, in the summer months, there are more diseases and disease vectors present from insects and other animals. Pruning trees in winter allows one to minimize the risk of infections, such as Oak wilt, from the wounds of these trees.


Pruning your bushes, trees, and hedges is a staple of any lawn and garden maintenance. They not only keep things aesthetically pleasing, they help to invigorate and direct plant growth by conserving a plant’s energy. Doing so with the right tools, at the right time of the year are important caveats of this important landscape maintenance routine so be sure to follow the above guide.