General gardening topics

How to Prune Pieris – General and hard pruning overgrown plants

Last updated on March 14th, 2022

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Pieris shrubs prove quite simple to prune because the majority of the time, they don’t need pruning at all. A close relative of the Rhododendron family, they only need small trims here and there when something has become damaged or overgrown.

If your Pieris is a bit overgrown, you can use a sharp pair of secateurs (that have been properly sanitised ahead of time) to prune the plant. It is important to note that if you prune in the summer or autumn it will not harm the plant, however, you will not have flowers the following season. Avoid pruning at the end of August because this is the time of year when new shoots are initiated and if these are damaged it can leave the plant susceptible to frost and winter problems. Ideally, you should do any pruning as soon as flowering has finished.

Cutting back overgrown pieris - prune after flowering

Cutting back Overgrown Pieris

When your Pieris has become overgrown, taking up more space than it should, you can use hard pruning to rejuvenate it entirely, or you can just cut it back to the shape you want. Such pruning, either way, is best left to the end of spring after flowering has finished. You will likely suffer the loss of flowers for the subsequent year, but the flushes of new colour and the new size will be well worth the investment. 


Pruning Pieris is often confined to deadheading when the flowers have finished and are beginning to seed. The seeds can make them look aesthetically unappealing so some deadheading can help. The flowers tend to appear in March and April, so you can schedule tentatively your deadheading thereafter. To do this, snip away the spent flower spears at the base. 

Deadheading Pieris

Make it a regular habit of deadheading and when your plant reaches the point of outgrowing its space, you can trim back the branches as necessary to keep the shape you prefer. When things get far too large, a good hard prune will set the plant straight and they often respond well.

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Last update on 2024-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. Comprehensive yet easily understood and encouraging information about pruning.

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