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How to Prune Shrubs - DIY Shrub Care - Shrub Care FAQ

Beautiful rose shrubs in the piedmont area of NC and VA. DIY shrub care is hard, but The Green Team is here to help!

Shrubs are versatile plants that have tons of benefits. They can seriously boost your curb appeal while increasing your home’s value, shield your backyard from prying eyes and the sweltering sun, and they can improve air quality. Keeping your shrubs healthy is important, but not always easy. If you need a helping hand when it comes to shrub care, you’ve come to the right place!

DIY Shrub Care Tips

While each shrub variety has their own quirks and needs that you should be aware of, there are also a few simple tips you can use to help your shrubs look their best.

Plant Them at the Right Time

The weather has a huge influence on outdoor plants and can take a toll on your shrubbery if you plant it at the wrong time. To ensure your plant survives being transferred from its pot to your yard and to maximize its growing potential, read its label or do research on your own to determine when the best planting time is.

Install Stakes

Young shrubs sometimes need help remaining upright, which is where stakes come in. You want to ensure the wire is taut enough to support the shrub until it develops a strong trunk and root system, but loose enough to allow light movement in the wind.


If you spot any dead or diseased branches, pruning them can help your shrub look better and prevent the disease from spreading. Pruning branches that rub against each other can prevent bark from being stripped, which makes the plant more susceptible to disease.

Fertilize and Water Sparingly

Most shrubs are hardy plants that are capable of finding their own water and nutrients, so they require little intervention on your end. Water only during periods of extended drought and fertilize according to the directions, resisting the temptation to add more than recommended.

Hire a Professional Shrub Care Company

Finding the right balance between attentive care and letting a shrub grow on its own is difficult, as is eliminating destructive pests and preventing disease. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or your shrubs need a boost, don’t hesitate to call the Green Team at 540-400-2647 for professional shrub care if you’re in the Roanoke, VA, or Charlotte, NC, areas!

Have more questions about shrub care? Here are some FAQs we get about shrub care!

What are Shrubs?

Shrubs are woody plants that have multiple stems, as opposed to trees which only have one. They’re also smaller than trees, although some shrubs can grow up to 20 feet. This loose definition means there are hundreds of varieties of shrubs in all different shapes, sizes, and colors.

The Best Shrubs for the Piedmont Area

The best shrubs for the piedmont area are native shrubs, which won’t become invasive and crowd out other beneficial plants that wildlife need for survival. They also use less water, which not only lowers your utility bill but helps to conserve an important resource. 

Shrubs that are native to the piedmont include:

  • American beautyberry
  • Winterberry holly
  • Virginia sweetspire
  • Mapleleaf viburnum
  • Carolina rose
  • Snowhill Hydrangea

There are plenty of other options for your garden, and a local plant nursery is a great place to get started!

When is the Best Time to Plant Shrubs?

Generally speaking, the best time to plant shrubs is during the fall. Plants are essentially dormant in the fall, meaning they aren’t exerting energy growing flowers or new shoots, letting them concentrate their efforts into developing roots.

How to Prune Shrubs

The goal of pruning is to make your plant look its best while also keeping it healthy, which is why you want to prune any dead branches by cutting them as close to the main stem as possible. The best time to do major pruning is during late winter or early spring because you can easily see and reach bare branches without worrying about frost damage. Regular maintenance can be performed throughout the year to remove diseased, broken, or bothersome branches.

How do you Prepare Shrubs for Winter?

Shrubs are great at preparing themselves for winter and only need occasional help, like if there hasn’t been adequate rainfall lately. Before winter begins and on mild days, you can water shrubs that haven’t received enough moisture from rain or snow, but be sure you’re not overwatering.

What are the Best Gardening Tools for Shrub Care?

The best tools for shrub care include gloves, pruning shears, and hedge shears. These are the basics that will get the job done, although if you have tall shrubs or especially thick branches, consider investing in a reliable pole pruner or pruning saw.

Need help getting your shrubs to look their best?

Contact us to see what we can do for you!