Pruning Your Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas have become a staple in the landscaping word, and for good reason! Large, long lasting blooms, multiple color options, different sizes to match your needs, and over all and easy maintenance plant. Pruning hydrangeas is simple, you just need to know what kind you have!
Panicle hydrangeas (conical flowers and elliptic leaves) and smooth hydrangeas (globose flowers and ovate leaves) bloom on new wood. These hydrangeas can be pruned late fall once the plant is dormant or early spring before new growth starts. You can take the plant back by about 1/3, so if your hydrangea is 6 feet tall you can take about 2 feet off. Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle roughly 1/4″ above the buds you are pruning down too.
All oakleaf hydrangeas (conical flowers and oak shaped leaves), bigleaf hydrangeas that are not reblooming (globose flowers and broadly ovate leaves), mountain hydrangeas that are not reblooming (disc shaped flowers and lanceolate leaves), and climbing hydrangeas (disc shaped flowers and broadly ovate leaves, clinging vine) bloom only on old wood. Generally you prune shrubs that bloom on old wood after they flower, but hydrangeas flower so late its usually too late for next years buds to set. Try not to prune these hydrangeas except to remove dead or damaged limbs. If you need to prune them to maintain the size and shape, you may need to prune them mid to late July while they are flowering. Pruning them before August gives the plant time to set flower buds for next year.
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