Marianne's Response

Pruning Ceanothus

I have two small Lemon Ice Ceanothus plants that I planted last year. I didn’t prune them much because they continued to bloom into the fall. Now they are very leggy. When is the best time to prune, or do I have to wait until after they bloom again?
(I tried to upload a photo, but not sure if it worked.)
Do you have a good resource with info on pruning shrubs in the Pacific NW? I have others that need a trim…
Thanks!
Nancy S

Posted by snyderoly on March 11, 2019

Marianne's Response

So glad you asked! Early spring is not a good time to prune ceanothus and other tender shrubs such as hardy fuchsias, salvias and lavender. Wait until you see signs of new growth most likely in May. Pruning stimulates growth and if you prune in March the new growth can be bitten off by a later cold period. When you do prune only go back to the woody growth and try to just remove the winter damaged tips of the branches. To keep them from getting leggy do not over water of use fast acting plant foods that encourage new growth. You may need to move these shrubs where they can grow larger rather than keep pruning them back. As for pruning tips in Western Washington contact the non profit PlantAmnesty.com for expert information.