Shrubs are relatively easy plants to maintain. Gentle watering and pruning are the main elements of shrub care, but don’t overdo either.
Watering once a week is usually enough. If the plant doesn’t receive any rainfall for a week, simply fill a watering can and give the shrub a good soaking. Make sure you spray the branches as well when you’re doing this.
Pruning is important for developing and maintaining shrubs. Pruning invigorates your shrubs and stimulates new growth.
Tip: Light annual pruning is better than periodical severe pruning.
Tip: For fastest healing, prune close to the main branch without injuring the points where they join. Leaving a significant stub will slow healing and invite decay.
Fertilizing shrubs is not something that needs to be done every year. Fertilizer is not the same as plant food, and while the addition of the correct amount of fertilizer can promote healthy growth, an excessive fertilizer application can decrease shrub health and can lead to its decline, as well as polluting our rivers, streams, lakes, and estuaries.
Fertilization of shrubs may be helpful but only after any problem causing poor growth has been identified and corrected.
Winterizing your shrubs is an option to guard against freezing temperatures, heavy snow and ice. Creating shelters or windscreens is an effective form of protection but can be rather unsightly. An alternative is to use an antidessicant shrub care product to help protect some types of shrub against winter extremes.