The Q&A Archives: Lace Cap/Nantucket Hydrangeas Pruning

Question: I have several varieties of Lace Cap/Nantucket Hydrangeas. Some of them are near six feet tall and need pruning and control. I have read all of your FAQs but still don't have a clear answer on how to prune these lovely plants to keep them at the size I want them. My neighbor chopped away at his and hasn't had a blossom for several years. My flowering is great. I am in zone 6 near Cape Cod.

Answer: These plants bloom on last year's wood and so pruning will reduce flowering, just as a harsh winter will reduce (or even eliminate) flowering by killing back the plant. Unfortunately there is no way to prune these for continuous size control; instead you might investigate replacing them with some of the somewhat smaller or even quite small modern varieties. I would warn you however that in my opinion none of these has quite the splendid garden effect achieved by the large old fashioned types.

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