Variegated shrubs have leaves that have two or more colours, creating a plant that stands out among other greenery. Since variegated bushes can be either deciduous or evergreen, just how and when you prune them depends upon what type you’ve got. Shrubs that flower can alter the timing of pruning.
Prune shrubs to keep contour by snipping back unruly branches to conform with the remainder of the plant. Make cuts facing a node or in which the stem intersects with another. Prune most variegated shrubs in the winter when they become dormant and before the growing season begins. Shrubs that bloom off of the prior year’s increase ought to be cut after the blooms fall, but shrubs that develop blooms on new growth may be trimmed in winter.
Cut into bushes to remove dead growth. Trim back branches to a stage two or three inches behind the previous stage where the limb was lifeless. If the whole division is dead, cut it near the main stem of this bush. Catch a 1/2-inch nub in the base to ensure that you do not scar the main stem.
Thin out variegated shrubs to encourage more leaves that will enhance the expression of the multicolored plant. Select several thicker old branches and then cut them back by about one-third to bring light to the center of this plant. This will raise growth within.
Snip away downward-growing big branches so that they don’t cross over others and cause damage from stems hardened together.
Pinch off blooms as they die to make the variegated tree create new blooms. Do this repeatedly throughout the growing season to have new vibrant blooms for a longer time period.