Esperanza is a flowering shrub that produces bright yellow flowers all summer long and sometimes beyond. It is relatively low maintenance, but some strategic cutting back really helps it to keep blooming fully and steadily. Keep reading to learn more esperanza pruning information, including how and when to prune esperanza plants.
Esperanza Pruning Information
Should I prune my esperanza? Yes, but not too much. Esperanza, also frequently called Yellow Bells and Yellow Elder, is a remarkably low maintenance plant. It performs well even in very poor soils and has excellent heat and drought tolerance. It needs full sun in order to bloom to its fullest potential and to maintain a compact shape. It will still grow in partial shade, but it will form a long, gangling appearance that not even pruning will be able to fix. Pruning esperanza plants should be done only to encourage new growth. The shrubs should naturally form a bushy shape.
How to Prune an Esperanza Bush
The main time for pruning esperanza plants is late winter, after all blooming has stopped. Esperanzas are not frost hardy, and they will die back if temperatures drop below freezing. The roots are generally reliably hardy down to zone 8, however. If your esperanza plant suffers frost damage, cut it back to the ground and mulch heavily over the roots. It ought to come back with new growth in the spring. If your winters are frost free, wait until midwinter to cut back the branches. This will encourage new growth and flowering in the spring. Esperanza flowers appear on new spring growth, so be careful not to prune in the spring when flower buds are forming. Some deadheading during the summer will also encourage new blooming. Remove stems that are covered in spent blooms to make way for new growth and new flowers.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.
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