A shrub for shaded areas of the garden or woodlands, Kerria japonica "Pleniflora" is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring. A relative of the rose family, its yellow flowers are similar to the rose and offer the advantage of blooming in shaded areas where few shrubs offer abundant blossoms. Maintenance of the Pleniflora is minimal, but a yearly trim is valuable. Prune immediately after spring flowering has stopped. Every few years, the shrub should be cut back to the ground for optimum appearance.
Remove dead or damaged branches. Stems are thin, twiglike and easily removed with regular garden clippers. Remove below a node (bump) when possible.
Remove suckers that appear around the base of the Japanese kerria.
Prune inner branches that appear too thick and take away from the open and airy look of the shrub. Inner twigs go in all directions and remain an attractive colour all year, making Kerria japonica a plant with winter interest.
Prune the arching branches of this shrub evenly on both sides and all around to control the width and keep it within boundaries.
Pruning the entire shrub to the ground allows a new form and more control when it grows back the following year. This should be done at least every few years. Leave newly forming sprouts to continue growing.
Fertilise Japanese kerria cautiously to prevent an uncontrollable mass of growth.