The Q&A Archives: Triming A Pee Gee Hydrangea

Question: I plan to purchase a pee gee hydrangea and would like to know how to trim it to have it look like a tree.What I have seen in the nurseries are like a bush with many stems from the base of the plant,not a main stem. Am I to trim the smaller stems from the base until there is just one main trunk? How far do I trim? and when?
I have two hydrangea bushes and they are doing beautifully.
Thank you for your help. KS.

Answer: You can train all kinds of shrubs into "standards" by eliminating all side branches so the plant will direct its energy into a single trunk. Cut away everything except one main stem. You may have to help support the trunk while it's young, but after that, simply rub out any buds that appear along the main stem. Once you get the height and shape you want on top, pinch and prune annually to help the plant keep its shape. Your hydrangea will produce flowers on new shoots which develop on old wood. At the end of the season cut back the stems with that in mind.

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