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Rejuvenating Old Shrubs: When, Why and How?

April 26, 2023
Rejuvenating Old Shrubs: When, Why and How?
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Minnesota courtyards and gardens transform in the spring and become stunning menageries of color and life, but without proper maintenance and rejuvenation pruning, that can quickly change. For this reason, business owners should either know how to cut back overgrown bushes and shrubs or entrust lawn and garden maintenance with local experts.

When bushes and shrubs are not rejuvenated or prepared for the spring, they grow unpleasant-looking thickets, form unsightly shapes, and destroy careful landscaping.

Whether you own an office building with an outdoor garden or a hotel with a classic courtyard and garden setup for your guests, it’s important to consider pruning and garden maintenance every year. Here at Earth Development, we know how to revive bushes, we understand pruning and garden care, and we provide garden and lawn maintenance services for businesses throughout Minnesota.

We also think it’s important for you to be totally in-the-know on plant pruning and care, so let’s take a look at the best time to rejuvenate your shrubs, and how you can do it.

How to Know When Shrubs Need Pruning

Rejuvenate Shrubs

Cutting down overgrown shrubs is important to ensuring a healthy growth for all your plants and shrubs, but you should first know when it’s necessary. This starts with identifying the shrubs in your garden, as every plant has different needs.

Perhaps one of the best things to do if you’re unfamiliar with your plants is to use an app on your smartphone that identifies plants based on their leaves. Once you know the names of the plants, perform some research and make sure you know how to identify when the plant needs rejuvenating or pruning.

You should also consider their needs in terms of the soil, fertilizers, and the best growing conditions.

Typically, however, you should look for deadheads. These are blooms that have shriveled up, died, and turned brown. Once these heads turn brown, the plant cannot easily grow new blooms from this branch unless it is physically removed. Failure to remove these heads mean it will take months for it to naturally drop off, and even then, it’s not guaranteed that a new bloom will ever grow from that branch again. This causes new branches to form, and for the existing shape of your bushes, plants, and shrubs to change.

When is the Best Time to Rejuvenate Shrubs?

Revive Bushes

While pruning can be done at any time you notice dead heads, knowing when to hard prune shrubs is extremely important.

Choosing when to prune your shrubs depends on the kind of shrubs we’re talking about. If you have plants that flower between July and October, they are best pruned in the spring. The food stored by the plant at the roots will then be used to support the new growth after pruning.

However, you may also have deciduous plants that flower between November and June. If this is the case, then you should prune the plants immediately after flowering. This ensures stronger flowering from existing branches and avoids the formation of new ones. Only prune the flowers that you don’t want to see on the plant to avoid new branch formation.

A good rule of thumb for these plants is to remove one stem in three. It ensures bigger flowers without making the bush or shrub look bare.

How to Revive Bushes

When to Prun Shrubs

Each plant will have slightly different requirements with regards to how much of the head you should remove using sharp scissors or pruning shears, but a general rule of thumb is to remove the deadheads with a sharp tool at the branch, before where the head begins to grow. You may even see where the branch goes from a healthy color, to a darker, browner color.

Remember to cut the head of the bloom off at a 45-degree angle. This way, the branch has a greater surface area exposed to moisture, which allows it to heal and grow more quickly.

Follow these simple rules, and you’ll be all set:

  • Identify dead heads or blooms by observing color and general appearance.
  • Using sharp scissors or shears, remove dead heads at a healthy part of the branch.
  • If you’re performing a hard prune, leave 6-12 inches of the plant above the ground and prune the rest.
  • Ensure you remove dead blooms in the springtime before buds begin to open.
  • Water the plant well and monitor for pests and healthy growth.
  • Observe for diseased branches and leaves and remove these when spotted.

Ensure your plants are well watered and fertilized and monitor them regularly, and your pruning efforts will pay off.

Why Not Leave Plant Rejuvenation to Local Experts?

Sound complicated? Knowing how to prune overgrown shrubs requires a learning curve, but thankfully there’s no need to know everything. At Earth Development, we provide companies across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and beyond, with lawn and garden maintenance services throughout the spring and summer. Our teams of highly qualified local experts are unbeaten on experience, knowledge, and service.

We’ll help you maintain a stunning outdoor garden space by paying attention to the health of your bushes and shrubs and avoiding the formation of unsightly thickets.

For more information about lawn care and maintenance, and how we can maintain your shrubs and prepare them for healthy springtime growth, why not give us a call? The Earth Development team can draw up a custom garden and lawn maintenance plan that suits your needs…and your budget!

Call the team today for more information and a free quote!

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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