3 Pruning Tips for Different Types of Plants

Not all plants need to be pruned, but those who do have different times and specifications. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what those specifications are. Here are some pruning tips from Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico Month by Month Gardening.



Time- Find the official last frost date for your area and trim citrus only until four weeks after that date. Pruning later isn’t good for tree health.

Amount- Trim off any dead or broken branches. Remove any branches crossing back through the center. Remove any branches with an exceedingly narrow crotch angle. Find the graft union and remove any sprouts growing below it.

*Resist the urge to prune citrus into “trees.” Genetically, citrus are large shrubs, not trees.




Time- Prune eight weeks before last frost in your area.

Amount- Your bush is going to be reduced to three to ten main branches (canes). Start by removing any dead canes, as well as small twiggy growth. Remove any canes that are crossing through the middle of the bush or rubbing against other canes.

Place- Look for the eye of a new bud near the base of the canes you have selected to remain. The bud is usually pinkish. Select one around a foot above the ground and on the outside of the cane. Because this bud will grow into a whole new cane, you want the right one—one that will grow outward, opening the shape of the rose bush and letting light into the central portion of the plant. Cut ¼ inch above this bud. Cut at a slight diagonal to help shed rainwater once it’s healed.


Ornamental Grasses

oranmental grasses

Time- Right after last frost day in your area is the ideal time. Sooner, and they may be frost-damaged; later, and you may kill new growth.

Amount- If the species reaches less than 1 foot high, cut the entire plant down to 4 inches. One- to two-foot grass species should be chopped down to 6 to 8 inches. Grasses over 2 feet should be cut to 8 to 12 inches high. This may seem extreme, but the goal is to remove all older brown growth and open the central crown to sunlight.

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