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I've heard that I should be pruning my flowering shrubs, but I'm worried that I'll miss out on this year's blossoms if I prune at the incorrect time. How would I know when to prune a particular plant?
To answer the question of when to prune flowering shrubs, we must first determine the reason behind the pruning. Do you wish to rejuvenate overgrown, neglected flowering shrubs through pruning? Or is this to be merely a routine pruning to maintain the flowering shrubs within certain dimensions?

Answer: We sometimes wish to prune flowering shrubs, in order to shape them or keep them within certain bounds. But we worry that we'll miss out on this year's blossoms if we prune at the incorrect time. Here's the general rule of thumb to know when to prune a particular plant.

If you are undertaking a routine pruning, observe the shrubs' blooming habits. For shrubs that bloom in summer or fall on the current year's growth, prune in winter. For shrubs that bloom in spring from last year's growth, prune after their blooms begin to die.

If you are pruning flowering shrubs to rejuvenate them, the best time to prune is late winter or early spring. True, pruning flowering shrubs at this time will reduce or eliminate blossoming in spring that year, but the trade-off is in gaining healthier, more vigorous flowering shrubs for the long run.
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