Pruning 101

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Pruning plants

Are you heading out into the garden this spring with a pair of pruners in hand? A hand saw, electric shears?

It’s important to research the plant you intend to prune before making the first cut. Depending on the plant, the time of year is very important to not damage the plant. Azaleas, for example, must be pruned after they bloom in the spring in the month of May. If pruned later you will cut off the buds for next year’s flowers. Using the right tools is equally important, many plants need to be hand pruned like boxwoods. If you use electric shears they may destroy the foliage. Maintenance of your tools will ensure a clean and disease-free cut. Keep tools sharpened, rust-free, and sanitized in between use. Luckily NC State University has prepared several publications to help you with all of your pruning needs.

General Pruning Information

Information to know before the cut

Tools to use when pruning

How to prune specific plants

For questions email Lauren Hill lauren_hill@ncsu.edu.