Shrubs that require little to no pruning

euphorbia(9)June 11, 2009

I'm looking for suggestions for shrubs to plant next to my house that require little to no pruning and are deer resistant. I don't mind once a year pruning but I don't want something I need to constantly sheer.

So far I've come up with:



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Basically you want to look at the estimated mature size of the shrub and pick one that is close to the size you want it to be (for example if your space would support a 4 foot by 4 foot shrub, look for one that says it matures around 4-5 feet).

I don't know what your sun/shade conditions are, but mountain laurel might be a possibility and there are a WIDE variety of cultivars in different sizes (unlike Rhododendron which can get tree size given enough time).

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 10:51AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I think he/she is looking for shrubs that have to continously prune to maintain the shrub, not necessarily because of size.

For example you could put a dogwood out in the open, and you still have to prune on a regular basis to maintain its health.

We do need to know what size though. Next to house? Does that mean next to the fondation? Are there windows there ect.

I fould that the Lantana Viburnums and Hisbiscus shrubs require little to no pruning. General rule of thumbs is that if its a slow grower its requires little pruning.

What about some dwarf Gingkos?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:50PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

esh ga, rhodies come in an enormous range of sizes, much more so than do kalmias. Take a look at the offerings from Rare Find Nursery.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:57AM
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Requires pruning? Very few fact, none that I can think of......"require" pruning. Unless you are establishing a formal hedge that needs to be sheared/trained to a specific shape/height, pruning of the vast majority of shrubs is an entirely optional and often unnecessary activity. It is a good idea to review them on an annual basis to remove any obviously deadwood or diseased or damaged branches, otherwise esh has the right idea. Select for their desired mature size and avoid pruning to size.

I don't understand the remark about the dogwood......what is there regarding dogwoods that require pruning to "maintain health"?? I've grown a good number that have never seen pruning shears and have thrived and dogwood trees in particular respond poorly to excessive pruning.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 9:50AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Many dogwood shrubs require renewal pruning. ie Ivory Halo, Red and Yellow twigged. The Dogwood TREES, no not require this pruning, ie Padoga.

The question was regards to shrubs so I thought it was implied that my comment was about dogwood shrubs.

Many willow shrubs also require renewal pruning. Many Weigelas also require renewal pruning.

Maybe the disccount is from me being in zone 5??

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 5:52PM
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"require" renewal pruning? I wouldn't put in those terms. One can undertake renewal pruning to increase stem color on shrub dogwoods or to reduce excessive size but it is not required. It certainly doesn't occur in nature so it's a bit of a stretch to assume that just because the shrubs are in a cultivated garden environment they somehow change their care requirements. Nor is it required on weigelas or any other caning shrub....the shrub will continue to grow, bloom and perform as usual without such attention. Renewal pruning is an option, not a requirement.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 11:03AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I guess everyone has an opinion, but most would agree that several species require renewal pruning to maintain proper vigor and health.

For example the older stems of the dogwood shrubs are extremely suceptible to canker, therefore its suggested to prune those old canes back. Many shrubs "benefit" from proper pruning, others well, they like to slowly grow as is...for example a witchazel.

I don't know, the Weigelas in my area start to look ratty if you don't step up with some renewal pruning.

And yes, its not "reguired" but again, for some species pruning it highly suggested to maintain the vigor of the plant.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 8:41PM
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I can understand why OP is recommending Pieris as deer resistant. Around here the underside of the leaves are so laquered with azalea lacebug that no self-respecting deer would touch them.
I once had a friend who would rave about Mahonia 'King's Ransom', he would always say "untouched by human hands".
He meant of course that he never had to prune it and it was a beautiful plant. I would say the same thing for my Mahonia japonica.
Fothergilla gardenii does not need pruning. Enkianthus perulatus, hard to find and slow-growing but a wonderful plant. I've never pruned my Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' or contorted hardy orange, even a starving deer would pass that one by.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 9:38PM
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