Answer: Different varieties of Hydrangeas follow different pruning schedules so that might be what's causing the confusion. Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) is easily recognized by its oakleaf shaped foliage. Oakleaf hydrangea blooms on new season growth and can be pruned in late winter or early spring, while dormant, to remove dead wood. If it has experienced winter dieback, prune back to below the point of injury. Big leaf hydrangeas develop flowers on new growth which grows from old growth. These types of hydrangeas should not be pruned down to ground level. If they are, there will be no old wood from which new flowering growth can develop. Hope this clears up the confusion!
The curling of the new leaves just as they emerge can indicate cold weather damage, a fungal disease, or insect feeding. Aphids are soft-bodied, pear-shaped sucking insects, about the size of the head of a pin. They sometimes cluster on tender new hydrangea shoots and leaves, sucking plant sap. They retard and distort plant growth. Under their attack hydrangea leaves may turn yellow or brown, wilt under bright sunlight, or sometimes curl and pucker. Check leaf undersides for small clusters of these pests. Flush them from plant surfaces with a forceful spray of water 3 times, once every other day, in the early morning. If that does not work, spray them with insecticidal soap according to label instructions.
Best wishes with your hydrangea.
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