I didn’t post a blog on Friday, but I had a very good excuse…
Frost-damaged Bougainvillea
It was time for my springtime annual pruning.
In my zone 9a garden, we do experience temperatures below freezing and as a result, some of my frost-tender plants always suffer some frost damage.
The best time to do this is once the danger of frost is over, which in my area is approximately March 1st.
Arizona Yellow Bells with frost damage.
I really don’t mind, because they look beautiful 9 months out of the year.
‘Rio Bravo’ Sage needing a trim.
This past Friday, I had no consults, the kids were at school and I wasn’t scheduled to babysit my granddaughter.
So, I put on my old gardening clothes, boots and gloves and headed out into my back garden.
Tobey came out to supervise.
My Bermuda grass is still dormant, but once nighttime temperatures stay above 55 degrees, it will start to green up fast.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, in the upper sixties.  I started first on my Orange Jubilee shrub and then moved on to my ‘Rio Bravo’ Texas Sage shrubs.
 
Every  2 – 3 years, I prune back my ‘Rio Bravo’ severely, which rejuvenates them.  Old wood doesn’t produce as much leaves or flowers and eventually dies.  Severe renewal pruning stimulates new growth and helps keep your shrubs from becoming too large.
To say that I am a bit passionate about pruning flowering shrubs the right way, is an understatement.
You can read more if you like in my previous post….
 I spent three hours pruning 10 large shrubs.  It was so nice to experience the outdoors with nothing to listen to except for the breeze and the birds.
There is something so satisfying about surveying how much work you have accomplished after you have finished pruning.
Of course, after I finished, I went inside and took 2 ibuprofen for my sore back.
I think I will let my husband put my pruned branches in the trash can 😉
How about you?  Are you ready to prune yet? 
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

4 replies
  1. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    I have started to do some pruning. I've always been afraid to prune most things so end up letting things get scraggly looking.

    Glad you had a nice productive day outside. It always does feel great that's for sure.

    Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

    Reply
  2. Desert Dweller
    Desert Dweller says:

    Inspiring! Grasses and perennials cut down to ground 2-3 weeks ago, but waiting 6 weeks to prune some shrubs & mesquite trees (4/10-15 is our avg last frost). Hope to weed, fix low voltage lighting and add some new plants meanwhile. The day job is killing me, tho.

    Reply
  3. Katrina Blanchalle
    Katrina Blanchalle says:

    I hear you! After a few hours of pruning, I can't seem to gather the energy to drag all the branches out to the trash, so I leave them for my partner to do. It's all I can manage to drag myself inside and collapse on the couch! 🙂

    Reply
  4. lawn maintenance Phoenix
    lawn maintenance Phoenix says:

    Pruning is indeed beneficial for shrubs and trees and you are right that this allows the plant to grow new branches and leaves. Through your photos, your passion is apparent. Thanks for sharing your gardening experience.

    Reply

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