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How to Prune Pieris – General and hard pruning overgrown plants
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Pieris shrubs prove quite simple to prune because of the majority of the time, they don’t need pruning at all. A close relative of the Rhododendrons 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, properly sanitized ahead of time, to prune the plant. Now, if you prune in summer or autumn you will not have flowers the following season, but said pruning will not otherwise harm the plant. Avoid pruning at the end of August, as this is the time of year when new shoots are initiated and such damage can leave the plant susceptible to frost and winter problems. Ideally, you should any pruning as soon as flowering has finished.
Cutting back overgrown Pieris
When the Pieris has become overgrown, taking 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 springtime after flowering. 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 their bloom and are beginning to seed. The seed can make them look aesthetically unappealing so some deadheading can help. The flowers tend to appear come March and April, so you can schedule tentatively your deadheading thereafter. To do this, snip away the spent flower spears at the base.
So, regularly make it a habit of deadheading and when your plant reaches the point of outgrowing its space, you can trim back the branches as needed to keep the shape you prefer. When things that far too large, a good hard prune will set the plant straight and they often respond well.
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