I live in Toronto and I’m wondering when is the best time to prune a beauty bush. I actually want it to grow tall, so don’t know if I need to prune it.
Beauty bush (Linnaea amabilis/Kolkwitzia amabilis) is a blooming deciduous shrub.
Shrubs are pruned for many reasons, including reducing size, creating a particular shape, removing damaged branches or thinning to increase air flow.
You note that you want your beauty bush to grow tall and don’t know if/when you should prune it.
When it comes to pruning shrubs, spring-flowering shrubs like beauty bush bloom on “old wood” (branches) produced the previous season so pruning should happen immediately after flowering so that you are not removing flower buds that are setting for next year’s blooms.
Deadheading (removing the dead flower heads from your plants) is a form of pruning. Removing these dead flowers helps the plants put more of its energy into growing rather than producing seeds on the dead flower heads.
Since you mentioned that you want your beauty bush to grow tall, I would recommend pruning by deadheading immediately after the beauty bush blooms. If you have any dead branches those should be removed immediately. Our gardening guide below has information about pruning Shrubs.