How To Prune Hydrangeas - Backyard Boss
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How To Prune Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are one of the most fun and rewarding plants to grow in the garden. With their large, showy blooms, they add a touch of elegance to any landscape. They come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to blue, and can even be found in shades of purple and red.

These adaptable plants can be used as foundation plantings, hedges, or specimen plants. And best of all, they are easy to care for and tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

Here are some tips on how to properly prune your hydrangeas.

What You’ll Need

  • Gloves
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Garbage bags

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prune Hydrangeas

Step One- Find Out What Type of Hydrangeas You Have

Hydrangea Flowers Blooming
Image credits: Kapa65 from Pixabay via Canva

There are two main types of hydrangeas- mophead and lacecap. Mophead varieties have large, round flowers that are typically associated with hydrangeas. Lacecap varieties have smaller, more delicate flowers that grow in clusters around the edge of the plant.

When pruning hydrangeas, it is important to know which type you have. Mophead varieties should be trimmed back by about one-third, while lacecap varieties can be trimmed back by up to two-thirds. This may seem like a lot, but it is necessary to keep the plant under control and encourage new growth.

Step Two- The Best Time to Prune

a bush of pink and purple hydrangea flowers
Image Credit: ustm66 on Pixabay

There is no definitive answer to the question of when the best time to prune hydrangeas is. Some gardeners choose to prune in late winter or early spring, while others wait until after the flowers have waned in summer.

Ultimately, the best time to prune will depend on the type of hydrangea you are growing and your own gardening goals. If you are looking to encourage more bountiful blooms, then pruning in late winter or early spring may be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid disrupting the plant’s natural growth cycle, then waiting until after bloom season may be a better option. No matter when you choose to prune, always use sharp tools and take care not to harm the plant.

Additionally, pruning hydrangeas on old wood vs new wood is a bit different. When pruning on old wood, you’ll want to wait until after the plant has flowered for the season. This will ensure that next year’s flowers bloom.

Pruning on new wood can be done in late winter or early spring before the plant begins to put out new growth. This way, you can shape the plant how you want it and encourage lots of new growth and flowers.

Step Three- Pruning

pruning plant
Image credits: JuFagundes via Canva

When pruning, remove any dead or diseased wood first. Then, cut back the stems to a pair of healthy buds. When cutting back the stems, make sure to angle the cuts so that water will run off of them instead of pooling on the cuts.

If you are pruning to reduce the size of a hydrangea, make sure to make your cuts evenly around the plant so that it doesn’t become lopsided.

Finally, apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and protect the roots.

After you have finished pruning, your hydrangea should look tidy and well-groomed. With proper care, it will soon be covered in beautiful blooms!

Pruning On New Wood

To prune hydrangeas on new wood, start by cutting back any dead or broken branches. Then, cut back any branches that are growing in the wrong direction. Finally, trim back any branches that are too long or too thick. When you’re finished, your hydrangea should have a nice, even shape.

Pruning On Old Wood

To prune hydrangeas on old wood, first, remove any dead or diseased wood. Cut back any remaining stems to about 6 inches above the ground. Then, cut away any stems that are crossing or rubbing together. Finally, trim any stems that are longer than the others.

To Note: When pruning mophead and lacecap hydrangeas, be sure to leave at least 4-6 inches of green growth on each stem. This will ensure that the plant will produce flowers next year.

In Summary

Properly pruning your hydrangeas can be a bit tricky, but with these tips, you should be able to get the job done. Don’t be afraid to experiment with pruning! Hydrangeas are very resilient plants and can handle being cut back quite drastically. So, if you’re not sure what to do, just give it a try – you may be surprised at the results!

If you have any additional tips or tricks, we would love to hear them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!