How To Prune St John’s Wort: A Step-By-Step Guide

St. John’s Wort is a beautiful flowering plant that blooms during the summer months. It is popularly known for its medicinal properties and is used in treating depression, anxiety, and some skin conditions. However, to keep St. John’s Wort healthy and productive it requires regular pruning.

Pruning helps keep the plant compact by removing dead or diseased wood from it. This practice also encourages new growth by stimulating buds on stems that are left after pruning. Pruning at the right time can result in better yields of flowers with higher alkaloid content which are essential for making tinctures or extracts of St John’s wort.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to prune St John’s Wort.

When should you prune?

The best time to prune your St. John’s Wort will depend on what kind of shape you want your shrub to take on – whether you want a bushy shape with more branches or a taller more elongated shape fewer branches? If you’re looking for a bushier appearance then late winter/early spring would be an ideal time for pruning when there are no flowers present yet.

However, if you’re aiming towards a taller look then wait until midsummer as this will encourage vertical growth while still keeping the plant looking neat and tidy.

Tools needed:

To properly prune your St Johns’ wort shrubbery effectively without damaging it requires certain tools such as sharp secateurs (hand pruners) which should have long handles so they reach into awkward spaces easily without causing any accidental damage like injury or tearing off useful stems.

How to Prune

Step 1: Assess The Shrubs
Before starting any pruning actions it is wise first assessing each shrub individually because healthy plants don’t need much trimming compared unhealthy ones; always clip off deadwood along with focusing light thinning cuts around base annual shoots.

Step 2: Remove Dead Wood
Dead wood can be removed at any time of year since it’s easy to spot by looking for the wood that is brittle and brown, unlike healthy wood which has a green tinge. Using your pruning tools, cut away any dead stems and discard them immediately.

Step 3: Cut Back Old Wood
Trimming back old wood can be done every other year to maintain the plant’s health. Find branches on the St John’s Wort that are old or thickened then make clean cuts using sharp pruning shears about an inch above a new bud.

Step 4: Thin Out Crowded Branches
Regular thinning out of clustered branches will encourage growth in other areas and create space between emerging shoots; this allows air circulation so pests don’t take root around your St Johns’ wort plants.

To do this, simply find clusters of branches where they’re too close together; then remove some as necessary while avoiding cutting more than one-third off any branch -this will prevent overzealousness while still ensuring enough light penetration and proper airflow through foliage.


Pruning St. John’s wort is relatively easy but requires careful attention like all garden maintenance tasks since it helps promote healthier plants with better yields.The primary goal when pruning should always aim at removing dead or diseased parts first followed by maintaining optimal shape without compromising plant health. With these tips in mind, you’re now well equipped to go ahead and prune your St John’s Wort successfully!