7 Plants To Prune In March – Backyard Shrubs You Should Trim This Month

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7 Plants To Prune In March – Backyard Shrubs You Should Trim This Month:- March can be a busy gardening month as the days get longer and warmer and many plants wake up from winter. The late winter and early spring are ideal times to prune shrubs and trees to design your landscape. Depending on how late the frosts occur in your location, you may prune some plants in March or later.

7 Plants To Prune In March – Backyard Shrubs You Should Trim This Month

What to prune in March?

  • March has a large list of plants to prune. Many deciduous shrubs and bushes that will flower in spring should be pruned now.
  • There are several plants you may prune in March that you could in February.
  • If pruning clematis, roses, butterfly bush, or hydrangeas is on your winter gardening agenda, you can finish them this month.


  • Smoke bush is Cotinus. Its clouds of small blooms, which resemble smoke plumes, and dramatic leaves in purple, scarlet, and yellow make it a popular shrub.
  • Cotinus is a low-maintenance shrub that rarely needs pruning. However, its branches can grow long and wild quickly if left alone. Late winter or early spring pruning helps shape it and ensures a stunning foliage show.
  • Pruning stems to two or three buds promotes fresh growth with brighter foliage than older wood. Smoke bush thrives after a harsh pruning.


  • Fall-colored dogwood, or cornus, shrubs show out in January with its beautiful stems. After enjoying the stems of these frost-hardy plants in winter, annual trimming is best done in late winter or early spring…March is suitable in many climes.
  • Trim dogwood as new growth appears each year. The shrub’s age or desired look may determine the trimming method. Either severely prune all the stems to four or five inches above the ground or gently remove a third of the oldest stems and any dead, damaged, diseased, or crossing branches.


  • Forsythia starts blooming around February. After its blooms fade, forsythia should be pruned in mid-March to April, depending on your area.
  • Forsythia should not be pruned outside of spring since it reduces its blossoms and could harm the bush.
  • Pruning forsythia is easy. Remove a few of huge branches each year, remove any dead, diseased, damaged, or weak branches, and cut any spring flower stems in half.
7 Plants To Prune In March – Backyard Shrubs You Should Trim This Month
7 Plants To Prune In March – Backyard Shrubs You Should Trim This Month

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  • There are sensitive and hardy fuchsias that can overwinter outdoors. Fuchsias can survive winter without being touched, using their top growth to shield them.
  • Once the risk of frost has gone in March or April, depending on your area, and the plants exhibit new growth, hardy fuchsias should be pruned.
  • Trim the stems to four inches with sharp pruning scissors. An older fuchsia that needs rejuvenation can be pruned back to near ground level to grow new shoots from the base.


  • Lavatera, now named Malva, are mallows that come in annual, biennial, perennial, and shrub variants.
  • Early spring pruning is required for shrubs. For this year’s flowers, trim in March to stimulate lots of new wood growth.
  • Wait till the frosts have passed in your area, so it may be a job for later in March when the first buds are breaking on the plant. Simple pruning: cut the shrub back hard to six inches from the ground to produce new sprouts.


  • Perovskia, or Russian sage, is a great perennial shrub that reaches to five feet. The dried stems of perovskia look lovely in a winter garden, but they need pruning in late winter or early spring.
  • The best time to prune depends on your climate. When the bush starts growing again, you’ll know. Russian sage can be pruned hard to promote new growth that will produce blossoms.


  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) grows quickly and needs little maintenance. However, occasional trimming helps keep the towering shrub in check.
  • As Rose of Sharon is known for taking its time to bloom each spring, the optimum time to prune it is during dormancy, from March to early May.
  • Pull dead, damaged, or diseased branches and those that are pointing in the wrong direction. Trimming each remaining branch to a third of its length helps revive the shrub, but don’t overdo it.
  • This pruning will produce bigger blooms but fewer flowers that year.

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