A Guide to Pruning Hydrangeas: Tips for Healthy Blooms

Hydrangeas are beloved for their stunning, vibrant blooms, but to ensure they thrive year after year, proper pruning is essential. Follow these simple steps from Clive’s Gardening Services to master the art of hydrangea pruning and enjoy a garden filled with healthy, beautiful flowers.

Know Your Hydrangea Type:

 Identify the specific type of hydrangea you have as different varieties require distinct pruning techniques. Common types include: 

Bigleaf, Hydrangea Macrophylla & Hydrangea Serrata:

Also known as Lacecaps and Mopheads, need pruning just as the new buds are emerging. Timing depends on last frosts which will be different in all areas. Prune off last year’s flowers and frost damage. Prune to about 1cm above the first pair of healthy buds at the top of the stem using a clean sharp pair of secateurs.

Panicle, Hydrangea paniculate and Hydrangea arborescens:

These varieties tolerate hard pruning of the oldest stems to a few buds from ground level creating a low framework. This will encourage larger flower heads to be produced. Again, use a sharp, clean pair of secateurs.

Clive’s favourite variety is Hydrangea paniculate and the specimen Vanilla Fraise he loves, as shown in the banner image, an image taken in Clive’s Garden.

Timing is Key:

Timing matters when it comes to hydrangea pruning. Bigleaf and Smooth hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so prune them immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer. Panicle hydrangeas bloom on new wood, making late winter or early spring the ideal time for pruning.

Remove Dead Wood:

Start by cutting away any dead or damaged wood. This not only enhances the plant’s appearance but also promotes overall health. Snip at the base of the dead stems, making clean cuts to encourage new growth.

Shape and Size Matters:

Pruning can help control the size and shape of your hydrangea. Trim back overgrown branches to maintain a desirable form. For Panicle hydrangeas, a more severe pruning can be done to encourage a bushier shape.

Selective Thinning:

Thin out crowded branches to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration. This aids in preventing diseases and ensures even flower development. Remove some of the older stems at ground level to stimulate new growth.

Deadhead for Continuous Blooms:

Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can extend the blooming season. Snip the faded blooms just above a set of healthy leaves or buds. This redirects the plant’s energy towards producing new flowers.

Mulch and Feed:

After pruning, apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the hydrangea to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Additionally, provide a balanced fertilizer to support healthy growth.

Hydrangeas That Don’t Need Pruning:

Some hydrangea varieties, like the Endless Summer series, bloom on both old and new wood. These varieties generally require minimal pruning. Remove only dead or damaged wood and enjoy their low-maintenance beauty.

Remember, every hydrangea is unique, so adapt these pruning tips based on your specific variety. With proper care and attention, your hydrangeas will reward you with lush foliage and abundant, colourful blooms season after season. Happy gardening!

Seasonal Pruning:

Expertise at Your Service:

Whether it’s a delicate hydrangea, vibrant rosebushes, or bountiful fruit trees, Clive’s Gardening Services brings a wealth of experience to the pruning table. Rest assured; your plants are in capable hands.

For a quote tailored to your garden’s pruning needs, reach out to Clive’s Gardening Services. Your garden deserves the best, and Clive is here to deliver.