C.L. Those that bloom on old woody growth should only be pruned after flowering. Pay attention to timing your hydrangeas will produce beautiful blooms for years to come! “Pruning hydrangeas can be confusing because each species should be pruned at a different time of the year,” says Ken Johnson, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. If your mophead or lacecap hydrangea is too tall, plan on moving it elsewhere in April or May. The two commonly cultivated hydrangea species that bloom on new wood are: Keep in mind that maintenance pruning, which includes removing diseased and dead wood as well as deadheading old flower blossoms, can be done at any time. Prune out deadwood and weak growth. If you’re not 100% sure what variety of hydrangea you have, play it safe and simply deadhead it. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Some hydrangeas bloom on new growth and should be pruned in late winter or early spring, before the shrub begins active growth. You can sterilize your tools in many different ways but you want to make clean cuts whether you are taking cuttings, cutting back branches, or removing dead flowers. Fall pruning is best done only in mild winter climates, such as in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 and 8. While some plants bloom on new growth, others primarily set flower buds on old wood. When you notice a decrease in flowering, that will be your cue to prune in the fall. Cutting back after the foliage and growth has fallen off and protecting it against frost damage will allow your hydrangea to focus on conserving energy and then regrowing. Old Wood vs. New Wood. Panicle hydrangeas, Hydrangea paniculata: Often pruned as tree forms, these shrubs (Tardivas, PeeGees) explode with panicle-shaped white flowers in mid- to late summer. Others bloom on new growth and should be pruned before as they are growing dormant in the fall but before they “wake up” in the spring. Hydrangeas can be loosely divided into two groups: those that bloom on old wood, and those that... Old Wood. Psst—check out the biggest blooms for your flower garden. If the buds are nipped by frost or killed off during a harsh winter, all hope is not lost. The Limelight hydrangea may be pruned in fall, winter or early spring, but never in late spring or summer while the plant is developing flowers. Here’s more tips to help you become a pruning pro. Wait until Spring to prune hydrangeas. This may weaken the plant, however. Pruning hydrangeas should typically take place after your flowers have grown and before the new bud blooms are showing themselves. Probably the most commonly grown here is bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea … Hydrangeas should be pruned each year for best growth. Those that bloom on old growth should only be pruned after flowering. But deciding when to give your hydrangea a manicure is based on the type you have and the purpose you are fulfilling. SERIES 26 Episode 21. Hydrangeas are excellent growers which usually don’t require much if any pruning. Tips For Growing Paperwhite Flowers Indoors, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Pruning climbing hydrangeas isn’t difficult and will keep the vines looking their best. It, too, blooms on old wood so should not be pruned until after flowering. However, again, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to prune your hydrangea. They also can be heavily cut back in the fall. It will be easier to control the shape in the size in this fashion. Some people say that you can prune these hydrangeas as late as mid-August without affecting next year’s bloom, but it’s best to prune no later than the end of July just to be on the safe side. Prune in late winter/early spring when your plant is winterized. In these situations the time of year is as follows: Should your hydrangea be too large it is recommended that you prune it back in the early summer or the beginning of fall. If you have the panicle hydrangea or a Climbing Hydrangea you can cut them back when they can physically gotten out of control. The biggest difference in how the different varieties are treated when it comes to pruning and winterizing, comes down to whether they like to be pruned in the fall, with their old growth (referred to as old wood) or pruned in the spring when the new growth appears (referred to as new wood). The panicle (Hydrangea paniculata) and smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) develop flowers on new wood produced during the current growing season. When Should Hydrangea Be Pruned? Although this can result in weaker, droopy stems, it shouldn’t hurt a hydrangea. This may weaken the plant, however. Panicle hydrangeas, the ones with pointed flowers that appear in late summer, also bloom on the current season's growth. So, when do you prune hydrangeas? Big-leaf hydrangeas … Not all hydrangeas should be pruned at the same time of year. If you are removing branches that are overlapping or getting rid of dead branches it is recommended that you do it in the spring or summer. Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This is often done to keep a plant small, globe-shaped, and “in-bounds”. These need minimal pruning. In fact, they can produce strong blooms for years without ever cutting back at all. Hydrangeas do not require pruning but there are still reasons you would do it. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We never sell your information. Before you start hacking back your shrub you first need to identify which type of hydrangea you have in your garden. Others bloom on new growth and should be pruned before they wake up in spring or as they are going dormant in fall. These hydrangeas can be pruned anytime after flowering, usually between November and March. When to Prune a Climbing Hydrangea. Repeat this pruning every year to keep the plant small. You can leave the plant to grow and thrive and will do so quite well without showing any signs of wear simply because you haven’t given it a haircut. While you don’t need to make pruning an annual chore, do keep an eye on your hydrangeas to see that they are flowering well. You can prune limelight hydrangeas at any time of the year, because they are hearty plants. If not, there is a risk that they snap off in snowy or icy weather, so, in October or November, simply cut all branches back to about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) from the top of the trunk. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Hydrangea serrata can be pruned in the same way as mophead and lacecap hydrangeas Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea arborescens are treated differently. Then, of course, make sure that you cover the plant with fleece and cover the base with organic matter. Pruning only needs to occur to keep a shrub well shaped, or after many years of growth to keep it manageable. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Below are common pruning times based on plant type: Your email address will not be published. Then you can determine when you should prune it. These plants can be pruned from late winter to early spring. Pruning hydrangeas can also improve a shrub’s vigor and increase the size of its flowers. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Read on to learn about climbing hydrangea pruning. Since its major attraction is its foliage, loss of bloom is less disappointing than in other varieties. – J & k Digital Media Ltd, the owner of this website hydrangeaguide.com, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking pyracantha.co.uk to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.co.uk. Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood produce their flower buds on the current season’s new growth. Fall Hydrangea Care 101 To Prune Or Not To Prune. So consider limiting pruning every other year or every three years to ensure your hydrangea’s health and vigor. Because they bloom on new wood, prune these in early spring before they sprout new foliage. Finally, you might be removing cuttings for plant propagation or removing the dead blooms, a process called deadheading. Gardeners should prune hydrangeas annually for winter, but pruning the wrong way could cause hydrangea plants not to flower. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. In these situations the time of year is as follows: It is best to cut back your hydrangeas when you are preparing them for winter. More About Pruning Different Hydrangea Types. If you are preparing for winter you can cut most of the grows back to the ground after fall but before the first frost in your area. How to Prune Hydrangeas. Not all of these shrubs should be pruned at the same time. There could be some branches that are overlapping, crossing one another and causing the plant to grow in an unstructured fashion. Should you prune hydrangeas after frost? Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood start to develop their flower buds for the next year in August and September. Frost can be detrimental to your hydrangeas insofar as it can damage them. Prune as far back as you want right above the first leaf joints. Hydrangea macrophylla, whose blossoms turn blue or pink based on soil pH, cannot be pruned back to the ground for winter since it blooms on old wood, while other hydrangeas can be drastically pruned and bloom fine.