Answer: Hydrangeas produce flowers on new growth which develops on old wood. We generally recommend pruning the shrubs down to 12-18 inches each spring. This will provide plenty of old wood on which new flowering shoots can develop. I think your husband probably did the right thing when he pruned, providing he left some old wood on the shrub. If there is little to no old wood your hydrangea will still grow this year but probably will not bloom as prolifically as it could. Time will tell.
Old roses can be pruned down in the spring. Choose 5-7 healthy canes to keep and prune everything else completely off the plant. Of the 5-7 canes you've kept, prune them down to about 24 inches. Pruning drastically like this will help open the plant up to better air circulation so you should not have as many disease problems but you will still have lots of healthy new growth and flowers.
Best wishes with your plants!
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