The Q&A Archives: hydrangea

Question: I am not sure about caring for my Hydrangea, after the season. Some people say to cut back the branches in the Fall and others say to wait until Spring growth, then cut back the woody branches. What do you suggest?

Answer: Your pruning method really depends upon your own preferences, and the type of hydrangea you are growing. For hydrangea macrophylla, the type that develops flowers on new wood which grows from old wood, either winter or spring pruning is fine. Once frost hits, the hydrangea will stop growing. If the canes or stems are quite long and might damage one another by whipping around in the winter wind, you can cut them back to about 18 inches from the ground. Or, you can leave them alone and cut them back in the spring, just as new leaf buds begin to swell on the branches. For other hydrangeas, the types that freeze down to ground level each winter and grow new wood every spring, you can prune them down after the first hard frost. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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