Ready to learn about Fall and Winter Pruning?

Fall and Winter Pruning isn’t our only useful post! Don’t forget about the rest of our blog posts with useful information about your yard needs! 

When to prune my Crepe Myrtles, Butterfly Bushes, Roses, Ornamental Grasses, Hydrangeas

At Cumming Lawn Service these are the times that we perform our Fall and Winter Pruning

If you aren’t sure and just really don’t have the time or don’t want to wonder hire Cumming Lawn Service and we will take that worry away.


I get asked to question quite frequently when are you guys going to cut back our Roses, Or when will you prune Crepe Myrtles, or what’s the best time to prune a Hydrangea?


These are all good questions. These questions might get answered differently depending on who you ask. Some may tell you that you cant prune this plant now and some may tell you it will kill this plant if you prune it this month, some may tell you that it want bloom if you prune your Crepe Myrtle, Rose, Or Hydrangea now. I will answer these questions for you here.


Crepe Myrtles:

The first full week January we start to prune Crepe Myrtles. It takes us usually 3 weeks to get around to everyone. With 20 years’ experience the only problem we have ever had with pruning them this time of year is cutting back to hard or if we had a warm spell while pruning and then a hard-cold front come through. For best results with Crepe Myrtles are to plant the proper variety in the area you want it so it doesn’t over grow the area each year then the tree limb up any low growing limbs and don’t cut the top out of it. Years ago, the study was that Crepe Myrtles wouldn’t bloom on old wood. That has since been proven different.

Crepe Myrtles will bloom just fine if they aren’t pruned at all. Notice if you drive down Veterans Memorial Pkwy in June. The Crepe Myrtles that the City of Cumming planted bloom full every year and they are never pruned. If you purchase a Nanchez Crepe Myrtle and plant it close to your home or building structure you will have no choice but to prune it. If you a Sioux Tonto or Dynamite can be kept nice and neat in a smaller area. 



We prune all our knockout roses at the same time we prune Crepe Myrtles never have we had an issue with this. We have also pruned them in mid-June after they start having some dead flowers they come back and bloom full again. I have seen a phase of fungus and bug issues with the knockout over the last 2 years. Drift rose we try to leave a lone and let them be full but is ok to thin and prune during January as well. In colder environments drift rose have less stress if they are pruned in late spring just before first leaf break.


Butterfly Bushes:

We prune Butterfly bushes at the same time we prune Roses and Crepe Myrtles. Some will tell you to prune in February but we have never had an issue with pruning Butterfly Bushes when we do all our winter pruning.


Ornamental Grasses:

Miscanthis, Pampus, Liriope, etc. I understand that I didn’t properly categorize these but for this purpose it will fit. We prune these in January when we do all of our winter hard pruning. Some Miscanthus grass we cut in late fall when they start to lay over. Don’t cut them back to far. Cut down to 16 to 18 inches. Pampas Grass leave them at 24 to 36 inches. Liriope leave a good 3 to 4 inches of the blade standing up. We cut these anywhere from January to March depending on when we plant to straw or mulch.



Hydrangea is a whole different animal. The smooth leaf hydrangea blooms on new growth and can be pruned when you do your other winter hard pruning. However, if you aren’t sure if you have a smooth leaf you might want to make sure of the variety before you prune. We have made this mistake before. The Big Leaf doesn’t need much pruning except neatening it up or cutting any dead limbs off. Do this in the spring just after new growth sprouts but do not cut much of or it will not bloom. Panicle can also be pruned with all your other hard pruning January to early spring. Other varieties only needs to be pruned after flowering.