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In the interest of keeping my weekly writing concise, I am forced to make tough decisions about how much depth I can go, on any particular topic. Last week is a prime example. I did talk about the importance of timing in trimming; but not many specifics. I will attempt to make that situation right (those of you wondering if you have screwed up or not).
If you’re unsure as to when to trim a flowering plant, it is best immediately after it flowers. If that plant is a fruit-bearing plant, which of course also flowers, wait until immediately after harvest of fruit. If you’re not getting fruit, see paragraph 4, you may find your culprit. Gardening is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not 'keep score', regarding who trimmed what; besides, they will grow back.
There are items you should avoid trimming now: Spring flowering plants. Included flowering plants; such as azaleas, forsythia, flowering quince, dogwood, garden hydrangea, (hydrangea macrophylla or big leafed hydrangea) or oriental magnolias (deciduous types) flower on the previous year’s wood. That is the wood that is currently on these plants. Trimming these now will not be fatal to the plants; they simply won’t flower next year, or at best, sparsely. Trimming these now can also cause severe damage to relationships, particularly if the quince you just trimmed is the prize of your spouse; and this is the third year in a row you have done this, and I get a call, wondering why the quince never flowers anymore, and I’m forced to rat you out.
*Excluding Japanese maples; in-store purchases only