Pruning an Artemisia

Pruning your Artemisia shrubs will allow for healthier growth, more foliage and flowers and overall better looking plants. Many people are reluctant to prune their shrubs for fear of causing irreparable damage to the plant. However, neglecting to prune your Artemisia can prove to be even more damaging to them. Here is a guide to help you properly prune your artemisia plants.

Step One – Know When to Prune

Artemisia plans should be pruned or cutback in early spring. This will provide the best chance for new growth and more blooms during warmer weather.

Step Two – Cut Away Dead Growth

Start your artemisia pruning by cutting away the dead growth or damaged branches with your pruning shears. You can also use loppers or a saw to do this as well. Whatever you use, make sure the tool is sharp to avoid causing too much stress to the plant.

Step 3 - Artemisia Pruning Cuts

When pruning your Artemisia plants, make angle cuts at about 45 degrees. Make your angled cuts away from the direction of the buds and branch growth. For older and more mature artemisia plants, make cuts of about 6 inches. For younger artemisia plants, cut only about three or 4 inches off the end of the branches.

Step 4 - Don't Prune Too Much

Make sure not to cut away too much in one pruning. While an older and more mature Artemisia plant may be able to withstand severe pruning, younger artemisia plants will almost certainly die if too much growth is removed at once.

Step 5 - Try Not to Cut New Growth

Always avoid cutting away new growth from your artemisia plants. Generally speaking, it will be fairly easy to identify new growth from older and less healthy growth. Growth from newer branches will generally be lighter in color and will appear healthier and more robust overall. Try to cut away the old growth and allow newer branches to fill in the spaces created by your pruning.

Step 6 - Maintenance Pruning

While extensive planning for your artemisia plants should be done in the early spring, you can do maintenance pruning to remove dead growth and branches at any time during the year. Fall, winter, and summer pruning can be very effective. Removing dead growth and branches from your artemisia plants about three or four times a year is usually a very good idea and will allow for healthier growth and encourage flowering in the spring and summer.

Step 7 - Shaping Considerations

When pruning your artemisia plants, you should be consistent and not attempt to drastically change the shape of your artemisia plants. Once you choose a shaping style, stick to your design, otherwise you may have to cut away too much new growth.  If you want to change the way your artemisia plants are shaped, you should wait until you divide them in the spring and wait for the new shrubs to grow.