Q: Will pruning English laurel, gardenias and other shrubs now harm the plants? How does drought affect my plans?
A: Pruning now will stress them somewhat, particularly if the soil is dry. The shrubs’ natural response to pruning in warm weather is to send up new growth, which demands water. In addition, the new sprouts may be frozen in January if they can not prepare adequately for winter. I think you’d be better off to wait until December to do your pruning..