Do You Know When to Prune Your Hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas are some of the most treasured shrubs in any garden. This is a large family of plants, with several of them blooming at different times of the year. This is where the confusion over when to prune them comes in. To understand when to prune Hydrangeas, one must first know what type of Hydrangea they have.
Late Summer Bloomers
Hydrangeas that bloom in late summer bloom on new growth. This means that there must be enough time between pruning and flowering time to establish the new growth and new flower buds. Varieties that are in the PeeGee group ( i.e. Limelight, Pinky Winky, Fire Light), the Panicle group (i.e. Burgundy Lace), or the Snowball type (i.e. Annabelle).
These types of Hydrangeas should be pruned in the early spring.
Most of the other Hydrangeas bloom earlier in the summer. This means they flower on old wood, or growth from the year before. If you prune them in early spring, you risk cuting off the dormant flower buds. By pruning right after the blooms have faded, you allow the plant time to set buds for the next year. These include Oakleaf varieties (i.e. Alice, Pee Wee, Ruby Slippers) and Big Leaf varieties (i.e. Nikko Blue, Endless Summer) and Climbing Hydrangeas.
These types of Hydrangeas should be pruned after the flowers fade.
Depending on the planting zone you live in, some Hydrangeas will have dead wood after the winter. This is particularly true of the Big Leaf types. This can be pruned off after the new growth starts.
When To Prune
|PeeGee, Panicle||Hydrangea paniculata||Late winter, before growth begins|
|Bigleaf, Mophead, Lacecap||Hydrangea macrophylla||After bloom in summer|
|Mountain Hydrangea||Hydrangea serrata||After bloom in summer|
|Smooth Hydrangea, Annabelle, Snowball||Hydrangea arborescens||Late winter, before growth begins|
|Oakleaf Hydrangea||Hydrangea quercifolia||After bloom in summer|
|Climbing Hydrangea||Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris||After bloom in summer|
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