Hydrangea Pruning – Simple Tips for 5 Species

hydrangea pruning

Good evening! As promised on Monday’s post, today we are going to go over some hydrangea pruning tips.

Hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful plants that you can have on your property. With producing striking, large blossoms and with attractive foliage, they’re easy to see and enjoy. They also are resistant to disease and insects, and they’re very hardy. They will grow well in many soils and will tolerate wetness much better than other similar plants. The problem is that hydrangea pruning isn’t cut and dry. So we are going to look at some of the tips for hydrangea pruning so that you have an idea of what to do with hydrangea pruning

One of the simplest approaches, which is suitable for all kinds, is to limit your hydrangea pruning to:

  • Dead Flowers – Removing the old and dried flowers, also called -deadheading, is the safest way to prune and you can’t do it incorrectly.
  • Rejuvenation – Even healthy hydrangeas have wood that dies on them. during early spring, you should remove very old or dead stems. This can be done by cutting them at your plant’s base. This is going to stimulate some new growth and produce a set of blooms that are more vigorous later during the summer.
  • Winter-killed wood — Look for dead branches and remove them during the spring before your buds start opening or as they are. Your stem can be tested for life by using a knife to scrape the bark. If there’s no green beneath it, the stem’s dead and you should remove it.

Hydrangea Types & Hydrangea Pruning Tips

Bigleaf Hydrangea

This hydrangea has lustrous, attractive leaves and big blue, pink, purple, or red flowers. There are two forms: lacecap and mophead. They’re both pruned using the same method. This hydrangea group also includes repeat bloomers. These will bloom on last year’s and this year’s wood.  

Sometimes these hydrangeas will become overgrown, so they need trimming. However, if you are pruning them too much they’ll eliminate or greatly reduce flowering. In the later part of the summer, once the hydrangea’s bloomed, you can remove your dried flowers. However, you want to wait until there’s new growth during the early part of spring so you’re sure you’re only removing the weakened or dead parts rather than the live stems that have flower buds.

In the declining and really old hydrangeas, you might need to do some renewal pruning that is more hardcore. Cut back the branches so they’re cut completely  to the ground. This is going to eliminate any of that year’s blossoms. However, the blossoms next year will likely be very productive.

Some of the popular cultivars are:

  • Altona
  • Dooley
  • Europa
  • Nikko Blue

The color of the flowers of this hydrangea depends on the pH of the soil. If the pH is lower than 6.5, the flowers will be blue. Otherwise, the flowers will be red or pink

Smooth Hydrangeas

These hydrangeas have white flowers on the new wood of their current season, so it’s really easy to prune. just give it a hard cut back in the early spring. Cutting the stems to about 12” from your soil line will actually enhance flowers. Two of the well-known cultivars are Annabelle & Grandiflora.

Peegee Hydrangeas

These hydrangeas have their origins in Asia and they’re very large. They can reach 25’ in height. they have brittle stems and these can break under a lot of white blossoms beneath heavy snow or in really windy weather. Remove the broken stems quickly so the plant remains healthy. Like smooth hydrangeas, they also flower on the wood of the current season. Prune it during spring to enhance flowering and manage the size. If you don’t care about size, just remove the broken stems and spent flowers. Some cultivars are Barbara, Brussels Lace, Bridal Veil, Limelight, Grandiflora, and Chantilly Lace.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas

This native of southeastern US is gorgeous and a lot of gardeners love it. It has spectacular foliage and is amazing even without the 12”, massive, upright blossoms. The flowers bloom on the old wood from the last year. If it’s necessary, prune once flowering is done to maintain the desired shape and size. Deadwood such as winter-killed is removable anytime.

Climbing Hydrangeas

This species is a very vigorous grower that’s easily maintained and attractive. The only thing that you need to do is to remove the stray stems that you don’t want so that their growth can be controlled. You may need to do this a few times during the season as the vine can quickly produce new stems. So that you don’t reduce blooms, you should prune them when blooming is done.

We hope that you enjoyed this look at hydrangeas and some hydrangea pruning tips. If you are interested, we offer tree pruning. Contact us here to find out more and get a quote.

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