WHITE FLOWER FARM - SHRUBS The newer, more compact, flowering shrub varieties fit perfectly into foundation and entry plantings, where their graceful foliage and colorful blossoms energize evergreen companions.
The newer, more compact, flowering shrub varieties fit perfectly into foundation and entry plantings, where their graceful foliage and colorful blossoms energize evergreen companions. It's important to choose those whose mature size will fit the location and to provide the sunlight they require. Another consideration is blossom color -- it should enhance, not clash with the house!
Keeping foundation shrubs well groomed and in scale with the house is, of course, important but need not be onerous. Those described in this email are easy-going, forgiving types and will look their best when allowed to grow in their natural form. Avoid shearing, which encourages lots of surface branching and may reduce flowering.
For the best flower displays, deadhead spent blooms and do any routine pruning based on that shrub's flowering time. Spring bloomers -- Lilac Bloomerang®, Mock Orange Snow White Sensation®, and Viburnum carlesii -- bloom from buds formed the previous year and should be pruned right after bloom, cutting back to out-facing buds. Those that bloom later, on new wood -- Buddleia 'Miss Ruby' and Hydrangea Pinky Winky™ -- are pruned in early spring. In cold-winter climates such as ours in Connecticut, Buddleias may die back almost to the ground; simply remove the deadwood in spring.
While you're pruning, cut out any dead, crossing, or misshapen branches. As shrubs mature, cutting the oldest one-third of the branches down to ground level each year will help the plant keep its good looks. Old, tangled, overgrown shrubs can be rejuvenated by cutting all the branches down to the ground in early spring. Blossoms will be sacrificed that year, but the results will be worth it.
The only pruning you may need to do now, in late May, is to clip off any wayward branches and pick sprays of flowers for bouquets.