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Here Are 7 Plants And Trees That You Absolutely Must Prune This Summer

Here Are 7 Plants And Trees That You Absolutely Must Prune This Summer

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Last summer, I had this tree in my backyard that just wouldn’t stop growing. Seriously, my garden started to look like a jungle (but not a pretty one, though). Of course, I had no idea what to do about it. 

Since it was summer, I didn’t know if I could prune it or not. So, I asked my sister (who is kind of a gardening wizard), and she was surprised I didn’t know about summer pruning. Turns out, my tree and all these other plants are supposed to be pruned during the warmer months. 

I did some digging (and trimming later on) and found out which plants thrive with a summer trim. If you’re like me and unsure about when to tackle that overgrown shrub or unruly tree, this guide is for you. 

Here’s a list of plants that benefit from summer pruning: 

1. Garden Phlox Needs A Little Garden Trim

Let’s start with the infamous ground cover – garden phlox. These types of plants spread quickly and tend to get invasive, so you better keep them in check with some summer pruning. 

What you have to do is trim back a third to a half of the plant’s height in early June. This will keep those sprawling vines in control, but it’ll also delay blooming, giving you more time to enjoy those pretty flowers. 

A little deadheading goes a long way in keeping your phlox looking fresh all summer long, so go ahead and pinch off those withered flowers. 

Also read: Creeping Phlox vs Creeping Thyme: What Is Better Ground Cover?

2. Don’t Let Your Lilacs Get Too Bushy

Yep, I am guilty of letting my lovely lilac bushes run a little wild. My sister suggested giving them a little trim right after their spring blooming. Turns out, if you wait a little too long to prune, you might miss out on next year’s bloom. 

So, I waited until after blooming to remove any dead or diseased branches. And now, my lilac bushes are looking nice and sharp (even my sister complimented them!). 

If you live in Colorado, this might be helpful: Grow Common Lilacs In Colorado This Way And Have A Dazzling Flower Display

3. Don’t Forget About Those Magnolias Too

Magnolias are truly a timeless beauty, but keeping them in top shape requires a bit of summer care. 

If your magnolia sheds its leaves come autumn, it’s best to give it a trim in mid-to-late summer, once those leaves are fully uncurled. Snip away any weak or dead branches, and prune back any vertical shoots to help your magnolia thrive for years to come.

If you’re lucky enough to have an evergreen magnolia, just sit back and enjoy the view because they won’t be needing any summer pruning!! 

4. Maples Also Benefit From Some Summer Pruning

While many trees should only be pruned in the winter, maples (Acer) are an exception. 

These sappy trees produce the sticky sap that becomes syrup in early spring, so cutting into them then can cause sap to bleed out, which weakens the plant and creates a sticky mess. 

Instead, trim your sweet tree between May and August and get rid of any stray, diseased, or undesired branches (and you can shape it however you want!).

5. Mock Orange Will Definitely Need A Summer Haircut

Mock oranges, otherwise known as Philadelphus shrubs, will also require some pruning during summertime. 

Grab your shears and give your shrubs a little trimming right after those gorgeous blossoms have had their moment in the sun. 

Just like when pruning lilacs, remove any stray branches to keep your mock orange looking nice and tidy, but to also ensure fresh blooms grow the next year. 

Channel your inner hairstylist, snip away, and let your mock oranges flourish in style! 

6. Don’t Skip On Chives

What’s better than a plant that’s both edible and gorgeous in the garden? Not much! That’s why chives are staples of many gardens, including mine. 

Pruning is key because chives can become invasive if left unchecked (don’t ask me how I know this). 

But with chives, you get to eat your harvest when you trim them repeatedly throughout the summer!

These plants are pretty tough, so you don’t have to be too careful, but don’t cut too many stems at once as it might harm the plant.

7. You’ll Also Have To Cut Your Lovely Azaleas

I saved the best for last – azaleas. These lovely plants also need a little post-blossom snipping to keep them looking their best. 

Please remember, less is more when it comes to pruning azaleas.

Aim to shape rather than shear, making sure those pretty buds for next year aren’t accidentally snipped away. 

Be gentle and soft, just like your azalea. 

If you’re dealing with an overgrown garden or just want to keep your plants in top shape, give summer pruning a try. Trust me, your garden will thank you for it! 

Related: 9 Steps For Getting Azaleas To Produce More Blooms