The Q&A Archives: Old Hydranga bushes

Question: Have some very old hydranga bushes and do not know how to trim old growth/

Answer: Renovating old shrubs can be a daunting task but it can be done with your hydrangeas. Start by cutting everything back to a manageable size, say 3-4'. Then reach into the center of the plant and remove the oldest, grayest canes. These are the least productive. Then remove a few of the smaller canes so you end up with only half as many stems as you originally started with. Then reduce the size of the remaining canes or stems, alternating their heights to give the plant a more natural rather than a formal branch structure. New growth will emerge from the buds on the canes you left and should fill out the plant with healthy new and flowering stems. Best wishes with your project!

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