When caring for garden shrubs, stake newly planted shrubs for support and carefully prune the shrubs throughout their lives. Supply the shrubs with sufficient water and provide them with nutrients for healthy growth.
Shaping the shrubs helps maintain their structure, promote flowering and prevent infection with fungal diseases. Pruning the shrubs periodically makes them healthier and more visually appealing. While pruning, guide the shrubs so they grow to desired mature size with healthy foliage and strong stems. Pruning diseased or dead branches prevents spread of diseases to other parts. Use bleach on pruning shears between treatments to avoid having the shears themselves spread diseases to other areas.
Shrubs should get reliable moisture, particularly during the first two years after planting. Sufficient water helps the shrubs firmly establish themselves. Water the shrubs abundantly in fall so that they do not suffer winter damage. Established shrubs don’t need much watering since their root systems are capable of finding moisture from the ground.
Feed the shrubs with general purpose fertilizers such as slow-release or fast-acting types. Select the fertilizer from organic or commercial products and follow the application directions on the packaging. If the shrubs are on poor soil, use fertilizers that supply supplemental nutrients.