Pruning Hydrangeas - Step By Step

Pruning Hydrangeas – Step By Step

By: - Gardening - September 19, 2011
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Pruning hydrangeas does not need to be a difficult process. In fact, some people never prune them at all, however this is not recommended. There are several reasons why you should prune hydrangeas, the best reason is that pruning hydrangeas makes them look better. If you planted hydrangeas, you obviously like how they look, so when you prune them, they can look even better. If you do not prune them, soon they will be wildly out of control and you may end up just having to pull the plant if it gets entangled in other plants in the area.

Pruning hydrangeas in the south is the same as pruning them anywhere, except you may do it at a different time, depending on how far south you live. When pruning hydrangeas in the south, try to get them pruned once in late August, once in January or February, and if needed, around March or April. Hydrangeas in the north probably will just need to be pruned in early August and then April. Pruning hydrangeas in the south has the extra pruning because the growing season is longer.

You should begin pruning hydrangeas by cutting off any dead branches, canes and stems. Usually they are dead due to age, so if you see any live, but old canes you recognize, cut them as well since this will promote new growth. Your next step is to clean the plant up by removing any dead flowers that remain from the previous season, starting from the top of the plant and going down.

At this point, once the flowers are cut, take a look at the plant and cut back any stems or canes that are significantly taller than the rest of the plant. You should also look at the bottom of the plant and remove any branches that are weak or laying on the ground. Once that is completed and you are satisfied with the way it looks, you have completed your pruning.

Keep in mind that hydrangeas can grow quite large and no amount of pruning will keep large varieties small. If you want smaller plants, there are certainly varieties of hydrangea that do not grow tall like the Mathilda Gutges variety or Pink Elf.

Hydrangeas can be a perfect and beautiful addition to your perennial garden no matter if you are in the north or the south.  As you can see from the information above, they are very easy to maintain.