Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
These plants readily send up new, beautiful growth from the root system. Where with a tree, we generally seek to cultivate its original, single trunk by cutting out any “suckers” that emerge from the base of the tree or from the roots, with cane growers, we prune much differently to encourage all that new growth emerging from the roots.
Cane growers generally have several stems – or canes -- emerging from the root system. Each year a cane grower will send up at least a few new canes from the soil. Simultaneously, older canes will become thicker and woodier, and quite often they become more ugly over time.
Consider what happens with a few well-known cane growers if they are left unpruned:
As stems on the canes of Nandina (aka Heavenly Bamboo) age, evergreen leaves and flowers become crowded on the tops of the long, not very pretty stalks. This can make them look gangly and become dangerously top heavy in ice or snow.
Aging canes on plants like many Hydrangea macrophylla (the moppy or lacecap varieties) will produce somewhat interesting exfoliating bark. Unfortunately, little foliage will emerge along these older stems. Instead, most flowers and foliage will form at the end tip of each branch. So, over time, the plant will look empty inside with all the flowers and a few leaves emerging on the tips of leggy, weathered old bark. The plant gets big, but not in a very pretty way.
Older stalks of cane growing barberries not only become unattractive over time, but with some of the showier cultivars, they begin to lose their best foliar features. Berberis ‘Rose Glow’, only produces its trademark speckled cream & rose leaves on new growth. If a cane is old, any leaves that form on it will not be as showy as those on newer canes.
Native twig dogwoods present the same problems. Yes, they can be grown as a single-trunked tree-like plant, but why? That trunk will age, turn a mud-colored brown, losing most of the brilliant reds and yellows that make them winter-garden favorites.
Thicket forming Forsythia are fantastic for wildlife, but in smaller gardens if they’re left to their own devices, they will form long stems that topple over and root themselves when they fall. That means they’ll travel and take over in just a few seasons. Unfortunately, over time, many of those understory stems will begin to die back and offer little of those fantastic early spring blooms that give us hope that winter will end soon.
So, to manage these garden greats and enjoy their best features every season, prune a few of the oldest canes (aka shoots) on the plant to the ground each year. Of course, remove all the dead material before you remove those old, but living canes. Then, take out about 1/3 of the oldest canes, cutting them down to the ground. Remove the smallest, weakest branches as well. This will encourage the plant to send up succulent, fresh, colorful new growth from the earth. So those leggy, older Nandina stems will soon be clothed in fresh new colorful growth. Your thicket of twig dogwood will be brilliantly colored in winter, your hydrangea will look thick and lush, and those barberries will show their stuff come spring.
Timing your pruning may vary by your region. In the Pacific Northwest, pruning Hydrangea in late summer or fall means you’ll bring in cut flowers to enjoy, and the plant will power up new growth in spring. Cutting down twig dogwood in late winter means you get to enjoy fiery stems in the garden all winter as well as twig wreaths and arrangements before spring. Barberry and Nandina canes may be cut in Fall, but be sure to do it well before a freeze or wait ‘til Spring; just remember they bloom mid-spring, so cut this plant right after flowering so you can enjoy every moment of beauty. Ideally, Forsythia is pruned hard right after it blooms. This will give the plant plenty of time to produce new canes and flower buds for the following spring.
Although roses are grouped among the cane growers, take care cutting all roses hard to the ground. Many roses are grafted – the part below the ground is very adept at doing the plant work below the soil; the part above the ground is hybridized to produce a very showy flower. Each is distinctly different. If you cut your grafted, hybrid rose to the ground, you may end up with a very big surprise from the new canes that emerge – and likely it won’t be a happy surprise.
Not sure if the plant you’re getting ready to prune is a cane grower? Visit the Plant Amnesty website to find a pruning guide, with lists of cane growers specific to each region.