Cuttin Shrubs to Half Their Height

Asked April 7, 2016, 3:01 PM EDT

We are about to make some changes in out front gardening presentation. In front of the shrubs in the attached pictures, usually we plant 150-200 Vincas. We would like to cut all of the bushes down to the level of the porch shown in the last pictures; about 1/2 to 1/3 of current height. Will we kill the shrubs or what will happen. There are two different types of shrubs. This may be done either this week or next. The shrubs to the far left would also be cut to the same height.

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Pruning your shrubs back severely will probably not kill them, but may make them rather unsightly for a few years. Keep in mind that when you prune, you want to prune back a foot or so more than you would want the eventual height to be. You want to allow space for the regrowth to cover the top of the shrub. It is hard to see what your shrubs are. Azaleas can be cut back to the ground and will regrow quite nicely. Yews take much longer to regrow before they begin to look decent. Some shrubs will not regrow from cuts that are made below the level where there is green growth. Rather than cutting them off flat across the top, you might want to cut tall branches individually so that the cut edges are not all the same height. Cut individual branches back to where a branch joins another branch. Severe pruning should be done in the early spring, so do it as soon as possible. vw