Pruning Bluebeard

Bluebeard is a flowering perennial with an upright growth habit. This deciduous shrub has a woody form and an excellent natural shape. With some well-timed and precise pruning, this plant can look its best. Pruning is part of routine maintenance that helps the plant thrive. Like other care tasks for Bluebeard, pruning is easy. Cutting back Bluebeard can prevent the plant from becoming overgrown and leggy, resulting in a larger and fuller shrub.


When to Prune Bluebeard

Cut back Bluebeard in the spring. Wait until the temperatures are consistently warm and there is no longer a threat of frost. Try to time the trim before the plant starts to grow actively. Bluebeard is slow to leaf out in the spring, so there is plenty of time to fit in a trim. Cut the branches back to at least 12 to 18 inches in length. 

Dead or damaged growth can be trimmed away at any time. Dead canes or branches will develop near the center of the plant as it ages. It can be hard to see these branches when it is lush and green, so they can be removed in the spring when the plant is shaped. 


Why Prune Bluebeard

Bluebeard can become overgrown with age. The branches may look sparse; some dead canes may be mixed with the newer healthy branches. Removing dead growth will allow the plant to redirect energy into new growth and create a more full and vibrant plant. Trimming the plant in the spring is also an opportunity to shape the plant and remove any lopsided branches.


How to Prune Bluebeard

Step 1 - Wait until spring

The ideal time to prune Bluebeard is after spring weather is officially in place but before new growth starts to emerge

Step 2 - Observe the overall shape of the plant

Trim the canes back to at least 12 to 18 inches long and create a rounded shape

Step 3 - Look for dead growth

Dead or damaged branches can be removed at any time.

Bluebeard Pruning Tips

  • Prune Bluebeard in the spring
  • Shape the plant to remove overgrowth and create a visually appealing look
  • Remove dead canes from the center of the plant during the spring
  • Damaged growth can be removed at any time during the growing season
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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 09-01-2022