The homeowner was hot. She took me over to her row of plumbagos that we had just pruned and began raking me over the coals. “You cut too much off!” she yelled. “It will take years for them to grow back. You even cut off all the flowers!”
Never mind that plumbagos bloom at the end of each branch and that any kind of pruning means the flowers will have to come off. This woman was not to be consoled. I explained that the pruning would result in her leggy plumbagos coming back fuller and tighter with even more flowers to admire.
Several weeks later I ran into her at a neighborhood board meeting. She was delighted with the way her plumbagos looked and commented on the number of blooms they had.
Moral of the story: A fine-tuned prune will change your tune. Enduring a few weeks of flowerless shrubs is a small price to pay for plants that will come back healthier and more beautiful than ever. Ask a professional landscape-maintenance company for expert advice.