Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

Spring. Has. Sprung. Yes, I’ll admit it. This is one of the most overused phrases come April, but do you really ever get over it? Do you actually get sick of hearing the birds’ songs wake you up in the morning? Do you get sick of the sight of that gray sky finally turning blue? Are you sick of the smell of grass growing, trees budding, and perennials blooming? (OK, this one might actually make your allergies flair up, but you get where I’m going!)

Speaking of grass, trees, and perennials, have you checked on your shrubs lately? Depending on when you moved in, they might be requiring a little love by now. If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help! Check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions regarding shrubs, flowers/flowerbeds, and general outdoor upkeep!

Q: When should I be trimming my shrubs?

A: The quick answer here is that when to trim shrubs depends on the type of shrub you have in your landscaping.

However, The Spruce, an award-winning decorating and gardening website, lays it out in an easy to remember way: “The rule of thumb is that if the bush blooms in fall or in late summer, you should prune it in early spring before new growth emerges. By contrast, if the plant flowers in spring or in early summer, wait till after it has completed its flowering, then proceed with pruning.”

Q: How do I trim my shrubs?

A: First and foremost, you’ll want to prune—or cut—away any damaged or dead branches. When pruning, you’ll want to cut at a 45-degree angle to ensure that the cut heals properly, allowing for future growth.

For general pruning, you want to “be sure to cut it back to the center of the shrub, where it meets another stem,” says Roger Cook of TOK Landscape. “If you just lop off the offending section, the cut stub will be obvious and unsightly.”

Q: Can I replace my shrubs?

A: Fun fact: M/I Homes takes time to research the soil conditions of each community prior to closing on the land, so we use this information when selecting your perennial shrubs! Our Land and Operations Teams prepare a landscaping package that should thrive in your soil conditions.

So rather than ripping out these plants, we suggest adding to them! Add additional perennials of different heights and widths, and even a few annuals each spring as well, using your shrubs as the backbone.

Q: What else can I do to spruce up my landscaping?

A: After you’ve pruned your shrubs and added some additional plantings, you can also change up the ground layer.

M/I provides a mulch bed, but mulch only will last 1-3 years depending on weather. Turn your mulch, add fresh mulch, or even replace the mulch bed with rock!

We’ve even seen M/I homeowners create a retention wall around their front landscaping.

While M/I Homes supplies a beautiful start to your home’s landscaping, there are unlimited ways to personalize the exterior of your home! Have you upgraded your home’s exterior landscaping since moving in? Post a photo and be sure to tag us on Facebook. We can’t wait to see!

*Please note that if you live in an M/I townhome community, your homeowners’ association will take care of all pruning and planting needs!


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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