water conservation arizona landscape plants
PRUNING SCHEDULE for DESERT PLANTS
January February March April May June July August September October November December
pruning schedule for desert plants begins here
SEARCH BY TYPE:
Trees / Shrubs Cacti / Succulents Vines / Grasses
Perennials /
Groundcovers
Frost Damaged /
All Plants
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CACTUS


Prickly Pear ( Opuntia spp. )
Pruning details for Prickly Pear: Plant in an area that will accommodate mature size. If needed, make pruning cuts at the joints.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
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GRASSES


Deer Grass ( Muhlenbergia rigens )
Pruning details for Deer Grass: Cut back 6 inches from ground in late winter. It is better to cut flat or parallel to the ground than to make a rounded cut.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
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Mexican Thread Grass ( Stipa tenuissima )
Pruning details for Mexican Thread Grass: Cut back 6 inches from ground in late winter. It is better to cut flat or parallel to the ground than to make a rounded cut.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
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Pink Muhly Grass ( Muhlenbergia capillaris )
Pruning details for Pink Muhly Grass: Cut back 6 inches from ground in late winter. It is better to cut flat or parallel to the ground than to make a rounded cut.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
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GROUNDCOVERS


Lantana ( Lantana spp. )
Pruning details for Lantana: Can be cut to the ground in March to remove frost-damaged wood. Can prune during growing season to control shape, if necessary.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Trailing Dalea ( Dalea greggii )
Pruning details for Trailing Dalea: Prune vigorous species by renewal pruning of one third to one half in early fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
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Trailing Rosemary ( Rosemarinus officnalis 'Prostrata' )
Pruning details for Trailing Rosemary: Light pruning after flowering in spring to control shape or cut back to woody stems to rejuvenate.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
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PERENNIALS


Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii )
Pruning details for Autumn Sage: Cut back old stems in winter or early spring. Deadhead spent flower stems. If needed, renewal pruning in early fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Chaparral Sage ( Salvia clevelandii )
Pruning details for Chaparral Sage: Cut back old stems in winter or early spring. Deadhead spent flower stems. If needed, renewal pruning in early fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Mexican Bush Sage ( Salvia leucantha )
Pruning details for Mexican Bush Sage: Cut back old stems in winter or early spring. Deadhead spent flower stems. If needed, renewal pruning in the winter.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
SHRUBS


Baja Fairy Duster ( Calliandra californica )
Pruning details for Baja Fairy Duster: Light, 2-step pruning (if needed) in late spring after first flowering. Don't shear. Avoid over-watering which causes excessive growth.
Recommended Pruning Method - Two-step: Use the two-step pruning method to control size yet maintain natural shape of shrubs.

Shrub pruning should not be done more than once or twice a year.

Step one: Cut back branches and stems to a half-globe shape.

Step two: Cut every other branch back (approximately 6 to 9 inches) to the first large "fork" on the branch or where the branch splits into a "V" shape. This opens the interior to sunlight and produces an informal or natural look.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Black Dalea ( Dalea frutescens )
Pruning details for Black Dalea: Prune vigorous species by renewal pruning of one third to one half in early fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Brittlebush ( Encelia farinosa )
Pruning details for Brittlebush: Trim tall flower stems down to leaves after flowering. Avoid over-watering which causes excessive growth.
Recommended Pruning Method - Dead Head: During blooming, cut off dead blooms on perennials and small shrubs. When the blooming season is done, cut back stems for the next cycle of new growth and bloom. For ornamental grasses, cut each bunch flat, 6 inches from the ground in January or after the blooms have dried.
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Bush Dalea ( Dalea pulchra )
Pruning details for Bush Dalea: Prune vigorous species by renewal pruning of one third to one half in early fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Chihuahuan Sage ( Leucophyllum laevigatum )
Pruning details for Chihuahuan Sage: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If needed, 2-step or renewal pruning is recommended in late winter or very early spring. Don't shear.
Recommended Pruning Method - Selective pruning for trees: Do not prune trees planted less than 3 years ago, except to remove dead, crossing or broken branches.

Carefully selected branches and stems are cut back near a supporting branch. No more than 25 percent of a tree's canopy should be removed in any given year. Shearing, stubbing, flush cuts, heading or topping can cause many long-term problems and are not recommended.
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Chuparosa ( Justicia californica )
Pruning details for Chuparosa: Little to no pruning needed. Remove old woody stems to rejuvenate. Light pruning after spring if desired.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Desert Bird of Paradise ( Caesalpinia gilliesii )
Pruning details for Desert Bird of Paradise: If needed, major renewal pruning is done in late winter, early spring.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Feathery Cassia ( Cassia artemisioides )
Pruning details for Feathery Cassia: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If necessary, 2-step prune after flowering while temperatures are still cool.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Green Cassia ( Cassia nemophila )
Pruning details for Green Cassia: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If necessary, 2-step prune after flowering while temperatures are still cool. The blooming seasons for Green Cassia are late winter to spring.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
 
 
Mexican Bird of Paradise ( Caesalpinia mexicana )
Pruning details for Mexican Bird of Paradise: If needed, major renewal pruning is done in late winter, early spring.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Mexican Honeysuckle ( Justicia spicigera )
Pruning details for Mexican Honeysuckle: Little to no pruning needed. Remove old woody stems to rejuvenate. Light pruning after spring if desired.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
 
 
Natal Plum ( Carissa grandiflora )
Pruning details for Natal Plum: Renewal pruning if dead wood or frost damage in early Feb - March. Remove offshoots or vigorous growth as needed using 2-Step method. Avoid shearing.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
 
 
Oleander ( Nerium oleander )
Pruning details for Oleander: 2-step pruning in spring/early summer or after bloom, remove old wood. Don't shear.
Recommended Pruning Method - Two-step: Use the two-step pruning method to control size yet maintain natural shape of shrubs.

Shrub pruning should not be done more than once or twice a year.

Step one: Cut back branches and stems to a half-globe shape.

Step two: Cut every other branch back (approximately 6 to 9 inches) to the first large "fork" on the branch or where the branch splits into a "V" shape. This opens the interior to sunlight and produces an informal or natural look.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Orange Bells ( Tecoma hybrid )
Pruning details for Orange Bells: Prune dead wood in early spring, otherwise light pruning as needed.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Pink Fairy Duster ( Calliandra eriophylla )
Pruning details for Pink Fairy Duster: Light, 2-step pruning (if needed) in late spring after first flowering. Don't shear. Avoid over-watering which causes excessive growth.
Recommended Pruning Method - Two-step: Use the two-step pruning method to control size yet maintain natural shape of shrubs.

Shrub pruning should not be done more than once or twice a year.

Step one: Cut back branches and stems to a half-globe shape.

Step two: Cut every other branch back (approximately 6 to 9 inches) to the first large "fork" on the branch or where the branch splits into a "V" shape. This opens the interior to sunlight and produces an informal or natural look.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Red Bird of Paradise ( Caesalpinia pulcherrima )
Pruning details for Red Bird of Paradise: If needed, major renewal pruning is done in late winter, early spring. If stems are twiggy, cut to 6-12" above ground in late February after last chance of frost.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Silver Dalea ( Dalea bicolor )
Pruning details for Silver Dalea: Prune vigorous species by renewal pruning of one third to one half in early fall. The blooming season for Silver Dalea is in the Fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
 
 
Silvery Cassia ( Cassia phyllodenia )
Pruning details for Silvery Cassia: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If necessary, 2-step prune after flowering while temperatures are still cool. The blooming seasons for Silvery Cassia are late winter to spring.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
 
 
Texas Sage ( Leucophyllum frutescens )
Pruning details for Texas Sage: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If needed, 2-step or renewal pruning is recommended in late winter or very early spring. Don't shear.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Violet Silverleaf ( Leucophyllum candidum )
Pruning details for Violet Silverleaf: No pruning required if selected for the appropriate space. If needed, 2-step or renewal pruning is recommended in late winter or very early spring. Don't shear. The blooming seasons for this plant are Summer and Fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolside 
 
Yellow Bells ( Tecoma stans )
Pruning details for Yellow Bells: Prune dead wood in early spring, otherwise light pruning as needed.
Recommended Pruning Method - Two-step: Use the two-step pruning method to control size yet maintain natural shape of shrubs.

Shrub pruning should not be done more than once or twice a year.

Step one: Cut back branches and stems to a half-globe shape.

Step two: Cut every other branch back (approximately 6 to 9 inches) to the first large "fork" on the branch or where the branch splits into a "V" shape. This opens the interior to sunlight and produces an informal or natural look.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Yellow Bush Dalea ( Dalea lutea )
Pruning details for Yellow Bush Dalea: Prune vigorous species by renewal pruning of one third to one half in early fall. The Blooming Seasons for Yellow Bush Dalea are late summer and fall.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
 
 
SUCCULENTS


Agave ( Agave spp. )
Pruning details for Agave: Pruning only considered after a severe frost. Otherwise avoid pruning. Do not prune into a pineapple shape. Pruning wounds often lead to pest infestations. Note: most Agave species will die after blooming.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Desert Spoon ( Dasylirion wheeleri )
Pruning details for Desert Spoon: Avoid all pruning or shearing. Dry, old leaves can be "peeled" on some species of yucca. Can remove old flower stalks after blooming.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Ocotillo ( Fouquieria spendens )
Pruning details for Ocotillo: Do not prune. Plant in an area that will accommodate mature size.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Red or Yellow Yucca ( Hesperaloe parviflora )
Pruning details for Red or Yellow Yucca: Avoid all pruning or shearing. Dried flower stalks can be removed.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Yucca ( Yucca spp. )
Pruning details for Yucca: Avoid all pruning or shearing. Dry, old leaves can be "peeled" on some species of yucca. Can remove old flower stalks after blooming.
Recommended Pruning Method - Do-Nothing: "Do no (pruning) harm" is usually the best method of care for your plants. Only prune to remove dead or diseased wood. This is particularly true for plants in the ground for less than three years. Over time, most shrubs and especially trees will develop into attractive and healthy plants when left alone.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
TREES


Mediterranean Fan Palm ( Chamaerops humilis )
Pruning details for Mediterranean Fan Palm: Cut dry or dead fronds. Do not above a 45 degree angle or cut the new green growth from the center.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
Mexican Blue Palm ( Brahea armata )
Pruning details for Mexican Blue Palm: Cut dry or dead fronds. Do not above a 45 degree angle or cut the new green growth from the center.
Recommended Pruning Method - Selective pruning for trees: Do not prune trees planted less than 3 years ago, except to remove dead, crossing or broken branches.

Carefully selected branches and stems are cut back near a supporting branch. No more than 25 percent of a tree's canopy should be removed in any given year. Shearing, stubbing, flush cuts, heading or topping can cause many long-term problems and are not recommended.
great plant for poolsidelook for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online
 
VINES


Bougainvillea ( Bougainvillea sp. )
Pruning details for Bougainvillea: Severe renewal pruning to remove dead wood or frost damage in early Feb - March. Remove offshoots or vigorous growth as needed.
Recommended Pruning Method - Renewal: This method is used for many small shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and frost damaged shrubs, groundcovers, and vines. Cut back severely after the growing season or just prior to new growth in the spring. Frost damaged plants should not be cut back until after danger of any further frost. Severe pruning should be avoided during the hot summer months.
look for plant details on Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online