Shrubs are Shrubby
A shrub is a shrubby, woody plant. (Now, that’s profound.) Numerous stems originating at or near ground level are what make a plant shrubby. Usually, no one stem ever gets the upper hand over other stems. For most shrubs, you need to get out there with your pruners to snip and lop every year.
How to prune a shrub depends on when it flowers and on what age stems provide the most ornamental effect. Does the shrub flower early in the spring, or later in the summer? Does it flower on old stems, on those that grew last year, or on new shoots?
And one more thing before we dive in: Here, I’m writing about pruning shrubs growing informally. Let’s shelve pruning hedges and, because they vary so much in their pruning needs, roses for another time.
Deciduous shrubs can be put into one of four categories according …