Plant shrubs in prepared ground or in containers in early spring, or as soon as weather conditions permit. Feed and mulch established specimens and prune deciduous plants that need renovation. Shrubs such as the butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) and Chinese plumbago (Ceratostigma willmottianum), which flower on new growths made during the current season should be cut back in early spring to give them plenty of time to grow new shoots before flowering. Shrubs that are grown for summer foliage or winter stems (e.g. dogwood) should be coppiced or pollarded. Take softwood cuttings for propagation and divide suckering shrubs.

In mid-spring, carry out formative and renovative pruning of evergreen shrubs. Pinch out ('stop') the principal leaders of shrubs you wish to keep dense to encourage the development of sideshoots and a bushy habit. Sow seeds of tender shrubs undercover, ready for planting out in late spring.

In late spring, carefully deadhead flowering shrubs, unless seed is required. Prune back any spring-flowering shrubs after the display of blooms has finished. Any suckers and reverted shoots should be removed. Greenwood cuttings may be taken for propagation, and simple, tip or mound layering may be carried out.