When to prune your hydrangeas – get it wrong and your plant will have no flowers

To yield the perfect crop of hydrangeas for summer, gardening fans must be prepared to prune as needed. The most difficult part of pruning is identifying old growth from new growth because both need trims at different times.

The cheat sheet is that old growth in the garden should be pruned in late summer, and new growth should be pruned in late winter to early spring.

When to prune hydrangeas

Old growth, sometimes called “old wood”, is the long dry stems left behind in the late summer when the hydrangea blooms have died off.

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood set their flower buds in late summer on stalks that have been on the plant since the year before. These plants, therefore, need less pruning. They should be pruned after they flower, and not later than July.

They can also be lightly pruned in later winter or early spring, to trim weak or damaged stems.

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But hydrangeas that bloom on “new wood” must be pruned more often. They can be pruned almost any time of year, except in summer.

While hydrangeas are generally considered to be low maintenance, it is critical to take your sharpest sheers to the native shrubs once or twice a year.

How to prune hydrangeas

Pruning itself is quite simple. Using your sheers, make a cut just above the bud. Some recommend making an angled cut.

Other tips to keep your hydrangea garden healthy include cleaning and composting debris around the base of your plants. If this task is skipped, your garden will become a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

If you live in colder climates, you should also consider adding organic mulch to your soil to prepare for the winter weather. This will protect your soil during the off-season.

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