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6 Amazing Tips on How to Prune St. John’s Wort Bush

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St. John’s wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum, is a beautiful perennial bush blooming during summer and early fall. However, it is crucial for a bush to be pruned to stay healthy and spick and span. Keep reading this article to learn how to prune St. John’s wort bush.

St. John’s wort bush is commonly found in North and South America, Australia, and South Africa. Even though this plant has been labeled an invasive weed, it can still be a delightful plant if maintained properly. St. John’s wort bush grows charming yellow flowers that burst with long impressive stamen from the middle.

The St. John’s wort bush blooms during summer until late fall and develops small bright red berries. This plant has been a part of traditional medicines to treat wounds for its antibiotic properties. However, the plant and its berries are mildly toxic, and they can interact badly with some prescribed drugs.

If you have a St. John’s wort bush growing out of your hands, keep reading the article to learn how to prune St. John’s wort bush.

When to Prune St. John’s Wort Bush

Like with most other plants, the best time to prune your St. John’s wort bush is during the spring. Since St. John’s wort bush blooms during the summer months, you need to prune it before that and have it ready to bloom. Pruning in the springtime gives St. John’s wort bush enough time to rejuvenate and recover to produce bright, cheery blooms in summer.

Pro Tip: Avoid pruning during the early summer, as this is the time the St. John’s wort bush will start blooming.

You can also prune your St. John’s wort bush in mid-summer or late summer. Prune about half of the new stems to get a fuller growth and healthier bush. Pruning at the right time is essential to get the summer blooms and to let the plant recover and rejuvenate before flowering season.

How to Prune St. John’s Wort Bush

Like any other shrub or bush, pruning St. John’s wort bush is a very simple task that you can achieve effectively by following our super easy guide. Follow these steps to learn how to prune St. John’s wort bush like a pro!

Tools You Will Need

To prune the St. John’s wort bush, you will use the following very common gardening and household tools.

  • Hedge trimmer
  • Gardening shears or scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gloves
  • Water

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prune St. John’s Wort Bush

Now that you are geared up, let’s prune that bush makes it look spick and span, and make some space in your lovely garden.

Step 1

Wear your gloves and prepare your tools by sterilizing them with rubbing alcohol or bleach and water. It is important not to spread any diseases or bacteria from any affected plant or a plant’s part.

Also, when you are pruning, the cut stems are vulnerable and exposed to bacteria. So, it would help if you made sure that your tools were clean to avoid any bacterial infection in the plant.

Step 2

Take your gardening shears or scissors; make sure they are sharp to cut the bush cleanly. Start by cutting off any dead or diseased stems. Then, dispose of them carefully once you have gotten rid of any diseases, rotting, wilting, or browning parts.

Step 3

Now take your hedge trimmer and cut one-third of the bush evenly. Prune it in late March, so it will be ready to produce flowers in the summers.

Step 4

Cut the overcrowded stems, sticking out or crossing each other. Your job is done once your St. John’s wort bush is groomed and perfectly trimmed!

Useful Tips to Remember

  1. Plan three years for pruning your St. John’s wort bush. In the first year, start by pruning only one-third of the brush. Then, cut one-half of all the older stems in the second year and cut back the remaining original stems and branches in the third year.
  2. You can follow this plan in addition to trimming for grooming, controlling, and maintaining the shape and size of your St. John’s wort bush.
  3. To rejuvenate your St. John’s wort bush, cut the damaged and crossing branches and cut the tips of the stems so they may regrow in the following season.
  4. To ensure a good flowering season, prune your St. John’s wort bush in March by cutting one-third of it for good development, flowering, and healthier growth.
  5. Prune the stems about 6-inches from the ground at an angle.
  6. You can also prune it a quarter-inch above the buds in the direction where you want the new stems to grow.

Planting the St. John’s Wort Bush

St. John’s wort bush is an easy-going shrub and can be sturdy under various temperatures. However, the best place to grow St. John’s wort bush is somewhere with full bright sun or partial shade.

St. John’s wort bush also prefers moist and well-drainage sandy soil. Avoid watering too much or letting the earth get too wet as it may invoke rotting in roots and stems.

St. John’s wort bush growing in a sunnier area will have more blossoms than the one growing in the shade.

Usually, the St. John’s wort bush can survive the winter season as a perennial shrub. However, St. John’s wort bush can be short-lived in areas with a long, wet winter season.

Caring Must-Knows for St. John’s Wort Bush

Plant the St. John’s wort bush only during the spring or early summer. Cover the surrounding soil of the bush with about a 2-inch-thick layer of organic mulch. Water the St. John’s wort bush regularly during the first season to ensure a good and healthier growth and development of the root network.

Reduce the watering from the next season of growth and let the soil dry out between watering. Keep the soil slightly moist but do not let it be wet.

The St. John’s wort bush tips often die out during the winter months. However, it should not be a concern. Just cut back this evergreen perennial bush in the springtime, and it will regrow again.

Do renewal pruning on your St. John’s wort bush every third year. Renewal pruning means cutting the plant back to half or less than half its actual height. Renewal pruning will encourage healthier, vigorous, and dense new growth to bloom more flowers and have a rounder look.

Deadheading St. John’s Wort Bush

St. John’s wort bush blooms new flowers repeatedly. Deadheading the dead, wilting flowers will help encourage the growth of fresh blooms.

However, the fruit of St. John’s wort grows alongside a fresh flower, so you need to be careful while deadheading.


St. John’s wort bush can be a cheerful and illuminating presence in your garden. Its gorgeously bright summer blooms and the following bright red fruits are sure to enchant you. Caring and pruning the St. John’s wort bush is essential to getting lovely blooms and healthier growth.

In addition, it keeps it from overgrowing. From this article, you have learned how to prune St. John’s wort bush and all the additional tips to help you take care of your plant. We hope this reading was helpful. Tell us about your St. John’s wort blossoms in the comments below.