If the thought of cutting into what looks like a perfectly happy plant still makes you cringe, you're not alone. Even homeowners who know the benefits of pruning are often still confused about exactly the right time and right way to make the cuts, fearing they'll lop off next year's flowers, stunt the plant's growth, or kill it outright. But once you understand how plants respond to pruning, you'll realize how many problems a well-placed cut can solve.
In short, successful pruning involves mastering two basic cuts. Follow along with TOH
landscape contractor Roger Cook in Shrub Pruning Dos and Don'ts
to learn how to use them.