When plants are sheared with hand or power clippers that shorten several branches at a time you will find three or more outer branches that are connected to one branch.
That one branch is part of another group of three or more branches that are connected to a single branch deeper in the shrub. If you go two levels deep, you will be able to remove several outer branches with one pruning cut. Go over the entire shrub and remove about a third of the branches. Then after one year’s new growth, you will again need to thin out a smaller number of branches.
If you are serious about learning how to prune naturally, you may want to request two of my free leaflets that describe the process. One is titled “What is Natural Pruning.” It describes the process including a section on recovering sheared shrubs.
The second is titled “Types of Pruning Cuts” and goes deeper into when to use each of three types of cuts to prune any plant to get a natural look.
For shrubs that need to be replaced, it is very important to read labels to make sure you are selecting plants that fit the location where they are to be planted. Sun-loving plants need at least a half day of direct sunlight.
Most plant labels show the mature height and sometimes the mature width. If you select plants with mature size that fit within the space you want to plant, you will have a minimum amount of pruning.
You can usually get help selecting plants at full service nurseries and garden stores. Bring your dimension requirements with you.