Pruning Blueberries, Roses and Azaleas

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Roses and blueberries are starting to have their buds swell. If they haven’t already been pruned, blueberries can be pruned up until the flowers have opened. Therefore, it is often better to get them pruned earlier so as not to knock off flowers that have already opened.

I prefer to prune roses as the buds are swelling. It helps me to identify a bud that is facing away from the center of the plant. I like to prune just above these buds to encourage the plant to bush out. This also allows for better air circulation, which reduces some leaf spot problems.

Buds swelling on the plants means that roots are taking up water and nutrients from the soil, making this the ideal time to fertilize trees and shrubs. Fertilizing now will allow the plants to take up the nutrients they need to put on healthy new growth in the spring.

Someone brought in an azalea (Rhododendron sp.) this week and asked when the best time to prune them was. I noted that the piece they brought in had a flower bud on it which I pointed out and mentioned that the best time to prune azaleas was right after they finished blooming. This is true for most spring blooming plants including camelia (Camellia sp.) and flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa).