10 Plants You Should Never Prune in Fall

We're nearing the holidays and that means your doofus husband will be looking to work off excess turkey-and-stuffing pounds by hacking back some innocent tree or shrub. Which ones are OK to hack? More importantly, for which ones should you threaten his most valued appendage if he so much as touches them? Grumpy has the answers.

Bloom Time Is the Key Many of the commonly butchered shrubs and trees bloom in spring. This means that they've already formed their flower buds. So if Doofus goes nuts with the loppers and wails away on a spring-bloomer this weekend, he'll cut off the flower buds and you won't get any spring blooms. Therefore, DO NOT LET HIM CHOP ON THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Azalea
  2. Flowering cherry, peach, plum, pear, crabapple
  3. Forsythia
  4. Lilac
  5. Loropetalum
  6. Oakleaf hydrangea
  7. Rhododendron
  8. Saucer or star magnolia
  9. Spirea
  10. Viburnum

Plants that are OK to prune now are those that make their flower buds on new growth next year. They include:

  1. Angel's trumpet
  2. 'Annabelle', 'Limelight', and PG hydrangea
  3. Butterfly bush
  4. Cape plumbago
  5. Chaste tree
  6. Crepe myrtle*
  7. Gardenia
  8. Goldenrain tree
  9. Hibiscus
  10. 'Knockout' and most shrub roses
  11. Pomegranate

* Extreme pruning of crepe myrtle called "crepe murder" will not and cannot be tolerated by Grumpy. To see how to correctly prune this iconic plant, read "Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-By-Step."

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