Hydrangeas forum: Hard pruning of Hydrangea paniculata

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Apr 9, 2015 5:37 AM CST
I've never cut anything away except for deadwood and old blooms in early spring, but I've read quite a bit about hard pruning these for bigger blooms and more shapely plants. Does anyone who prunes theirs this way have pictures to share to show cuts made and later on, the plant in bloom? I'd love to be able to compare the results.

TIA

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 8:21 AM CST
I generally wait until the leaf buds start expanding before pruning out dead wood. The few that I have that bloom on new wood (excluding 'Endless Bummer') - I will shape them a bit if the stems get really long because I know they'll just bow over when they bloom. I've always heard to just leave hydrangeas alone except for the dead wood thing. I did hear a podcast mentioning that once the shrub is in bloom that the non-flowering branches can be cut back so there's a more dramatic effect of more blooms/less foliage. Have never tried that one since I wondered if the reduced biomass would be an issue for the plant. I've never documented the before and after but then I'm not much of a picture-taker.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 15, 2015 8:34 AM CST
Thanks Cindy.

I think I have myself talked into a semi-hard pruning of mine. I'll cut each bloom stalk back by about one-half, and try to take pictures to document the effect. My older plant's blooms are smaller these days, so I'm hoping it will help it too.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 8:37 AM CST
As a rule, I don't feed many of my perennials and shrubs although I used to give hydrangeas some super phosphate for the blooms. I don't do that anymore but perhaps some compost or a little rock phosphate might help?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 15, 2015 2:08 PM CST
It does get lots of compost with horse manure. I think half the battle may be too much shade, but I'm not going to move it this spring. I do want to try to trim the new one up nicely though; it has a prominent position in the rock garden area.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 4:26 PM CST
Could the nitrogen be too high in the horse manure? I don't have any experience with it.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 15, 2015 6:10 PM CST
It shouldn't be. I use it on almost everything. Also, the plant's growth, leaves etc. aren't excessive or floppy.

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 16, 2015 8:52 AM CST
Good luck with your pruning. Perhaps they need a year off from blooming. :)
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Apr 25, 2015 6:00 AM CST
I did end up cutting each bloom-bearing stalk by half, and the new leaves started popping out in the next day or so! Hurray! The timing was poor for picture-taking, but at least it's done and the plants seem to like it...so far.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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