Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'

Five shrubs to prune for better flowers

We pick five shrubs that you should prune in summer, to improve their flowering.

Shrubs that flower in early summer should be pruned after their display is over to maintain their shape and encourage lots of new growth that will carry blooms the following year.


Summer pruning will also keep the shrubs at a good size. When you cut back the current season’s green growth like this, you are removing nitrogen – the nutrient that promotes stem and leaf growth. Timing is vital – you need to do it when the spring and early summer flush of growth slows down, but before the stems turn woody. This is usually between July and early August.

Summer pruning also lets light and air into the plant, encouraging the stems and any fruit to ripen. It also removes the soft growth that is most prone to pest and disease problems.

Discover five shrubs to prune for better flowers, below.

While fantastically fragranced, mock oranges (Philadelphus) can soon look scruffy if not pruned after flowering.



Deutzias should be pruned after they’ve finished blooming, in summer. The oldest branches can be cut right back to the base of the plant, while newer, flowered growth can be cut back to a healthy bud.




Brooms, including species like Cytisus scoparius and Cytisus x boskoopii, should be pruned annually to stop them becoming too leggy. Do this by cutting back the flowered stems to half their length.



While fantastically fragranced, mock oranges (Philadelphus) can soon look scruffy if not pruned after flowering. Here’s our full advice on how to prune spring-flowering shrubs.



Linnaea amabilis

Like the other shrubs to prune for better flowers in this feature, Linnaea amabilis (formerly Kolkwitzia amabilis) flowers on growth produced the previous year. All you need to do is cut back the flowered branches to a healthy bud.



These dramatic shrubs flower in spring, and will need pruning in July or August to stop them looking untidy. Do this by cutting back old flowered branches, to make way for fresh growth, which will carry next year’s blooms.


More shrubs to prune in summer

  • Viburnum x burkwoodii
  • Cercis canadensis
  • Lilacs
  • Chaenomeles
  • Caryopteris
  • Fuchsia
  • Perovskia
  • Buddleja davidii
  • Spiraea japonica