how and when do i severely prune otto lyken laurel and carissa holly?

Gay A
by Gay A
I am in Cary, NC and have some overgrown bushes. The laurels are about 4-5 feet high and wide, the hollies are a little smaller. I want to cut them way way back. How and when can Ii do this safely?
  3 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 31, 2012
    The best time to prune most shrubs is late winter, so you don't leave the pruned exposed to harsh winter conditions for too long, but before spring growth starts. Here is a good document that shows good pruning techniques and tools:
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Feb 01, 2012
    While late winter is generally a good time to prune, Gay, if you prune your Otto Luken then you'll be taking off most of the blooms. I would wait until just after blooming. It's generally not recommended that you remove more than one third of a plant through pruning. Make selective cuts to keep the interior of the plant open.
  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Feb 01, 2012
    I am not sure what you mean by "way back". The holly can grow to be slightly over 4 feet tall. If you want to keep it small you need to cut it back severely during the winter and now is the time in this area. The Otto Luyken will bloom soon - if it hasn't already started with our weather pattern this year. As soon as it blooms it can be cut back. It is a pant that usually grows to about 5 feet tall. If these plants are "drastically overgrown" for the area where they are planted you may want to rethink the landscaping design in that area.