Showpiece Plants

The ever-popular Aucuba with large dark-green or gold-spotted leaves makes a handsome plant. Prune only to remove diseased or dead branches or to keep plant size in bounds. Aucuba prunings make good cut foliage for home use or as fillers in flower arrangements. Under ideal conditions it will flower and bear red berries, so prune after berries have turned a dark color.

Japanese Photinia is among the few evergreens that give a big splash of red color in early spring when they put on a new spurt of growth. It's best to prune just before plants start growing in the spring.

Arborvitaes, junipers, and other needle-leafed shrubs need little pruning, but it's best to prune them some each year. Otherwise, they grow so big it's impossible to cut them back without seriously chopping up and injuring plants. Early spring is the best time to cut them back. Tips can be pruned back far enough so cut places are hidden by overlapping leaves and branches.

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