The Q&A Archives: Pruning Hydranga

Question: My two Hydranga bushes bloomed beartifully this year. But now they're so top heavy that the center of the bushes are laying open and the flowers are falling all over the plants surrounding them - and smothering them. If I prune them now, in July, would I get any new flowers for drying in the fall? Will it hurt them to be pruned now? Help!

Answer: Your hydrangea will bloom only once each year, so what it has produced is all that you'll get this season. As long as the blossoms are fully open and fully colored you can cut them and hang them upside-down to dry. Removing them will help your shrub regain its appearance. If yours is the kind that freezes down to the ground each winter, it will flower on new wood. If the stems remain during the winter, it's the kind of hydrangea that flowers on shoots that grow from previous year's wood. Take that into consideration as you're pruning back your shrub to make it fit into its place in the garden. Pruning now won't hurt the plant.

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