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How-To

How to Prune Beautyberries

Fine Gardening - Issue 190

Pruning beautyberries is frequently necessary to keep them looking neat and tidy—and it’s fairly straightforward. Late winter is the time to do it, because beautyberries bloom and set fruit on new wood (the current season’s growth). Cutting back plants in late winter or early spring will not sacrifice the next season’s fall display. Choose a hefty tool like loppers instead of pruning shears or a hedge trimmer to make clean cuts on the sizable canes. Learn more about which varieties and other tips for planting in Beautyberry: Fall’s Most Fantastic Shrub.

Pruning Beautyberries 101

Pruning option 1
Cut back the entire plant. All the branches can be cut to 12 inches from the ground.

Pruning option 2
Prune selectively over time. Removing one-third of the oldest and largest branches over a three-year period will rejuvenate the shrub and create a neater habit if you’re shy about doing a total renovation pruning.

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