How to Prune a Hypericum Hidcote


Hypericum Hidcote (St. John's wort) is a deciduous shrub that grows two to five feet tall in USDA Zones 5 to 9. It provides saucer-like yellow flowers in the summer on new growth and can be drastically pruned back almost to the ground in March or April.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Hand pruners
  • Loppers (depending on size of branches)
  • Pruning saw (depending on size of branches)
  • Put on gloves. Pruning Hypericum Hidcote is a process of cutting and removing branches from the plant.

  • Cut branches with hand shears, pruning back to within a few inches of the ground. Hand shears can be used on any branch up to the size of your little finger.

  • Cut branches with loppers for any branch that cannot be cut with hand shears, up to two inches thick. Hidcote shrubs in USDA zones 5 and 6 usually freeze back to the base in the winter, and thick branches are more likely in warmer zones that do not have annual winter kills.

  • Cut branches with a pruning saw for any branch larger than two inches thick. Pruning saws are not usually required to prune Hypericum Hidcote, unless this shrub is more of a reclamation project for a plant that has not seen pruning in years.

  • Clean cutting area of debris and dispose of it properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place the pruned shrub pieces on a tarp, if one is available. Having all the pieces on a tarp makes it easier to bundle up the cutting pile and move it once the pruning is finished.
  • Prune all shoots, not just some, to get maximum new growth and the maximum number of flowers.
  • Pruning can be delayed until May, but flowers will be fewer and bloom later in the summer.
  • Hypericum Hidcote is a member of the St. John's wort group of plants, but is not the St. John's wort that has been noted to have medical properties.
  • Inspect the ground around the pruning area. Since Hypericum Hidcote is pruned back to the base, check for animals, snakes, ant mounds, poison ivy and any other hazard that may have taken up residence since the last pruning.

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  • Photo Credit hypericum calycinum image by Annett Goebel from
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