Hydrangeas forum: Do you prune Hydrangea?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Mar 20, 2016 12:03 AM CST
My hydrangea has some brown twigs that get new green buds at the top, and some twigs are dead and brown. Am I supposed to cut all twigs to the ground in Fall?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 20, 2016 6:41 AM CST
You should remove dead branches down to just above a node in the still living tissue (if there is any). You can do that in spring (there's some risk to pruning in fall because the dampness of the weather etc. may allow fungal diseases to get started). Whether you can cut living branches right back (to above a node) in fall would depend on the hydrangea. Some you can cut back in the fall or spring because they form flower buds on the new growth. I always do those in spring if they need it. Others form their flower buds the year before so if you cut back all branches in spring or fall you will not get flowers for a year. If you want to prune any shrub that flowers on old wood you should do it right after they flower. Do you know what kind or cultivar of hydrangea you have?
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 20, 2016 11:57 AM CST
I let mine sit over winter. In early spring, those stems that have a dessicated flower at the end get lopped to ground level. All others then get lopped to about 18". This for a blowsy football-flower sized hydrangea (common). No clue about the fancier ones, and this may be totally wrong, but it works OK for me.
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Mar 20, 2016 1:25 PM CST

Plants Admin

Good advice sooby. Keith, If you don't have a photo of it in bloom take a look thru photos of H. macrophylla and H. quercifolia, they bloom on old wood so should be pruned soon after flowering.

It sounds like you may have a Panicle Hydrangea Deb. They bloom on new wood so can be pruned in early spring.
A pic showing the football shaped flowers.



Evan
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 21, 2016 12:49 AM CST

Thumb of 2016-03-21/keithp2012/4e2ee8

Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
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SCButtercup
Mar 21, 2016 4:31 AM CST
Keith yours looks like round balks of flowers do these should not be pruned now unless you don't care about getting flowers. I believe you have the kind that blooms on mature wood. The panicle-shaped blooms shoukd be cut down over winter and they rise back in spring with lots of new growth and blooms.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 21, 2016 9:17 AM CST
Mine is a NOID. I have placed it under H. macrophylla in my list - the old fashioned big blue balls.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 21, 2016 9:25 AM CST
Deb, could yours be Endless Summer? Hydrangea macrophylla in general flowers on old wood but Endless Summer is supposed to flower on both (if it doesn't die like it did here Hilarious! ).
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Mar 21, 2016 10:08 AM CST
Sue, yes, mine could very well be Endless Summer. Or another older variety. Who knows. I've never paid much attention to it - perhaps this year I'll try to figure out when it blooms and on new or old wood. It's more of a background blob of greenery for me - fills in a shady corner well. Some years it blooms much better than others, which may very well be how or when it is pruned. Reliable plant, and I like the blue flowers.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
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GaNinFl
Mar 21, 2016 6:11 PM CST
I have a couple of these that came with the house. When I saw this question it intrigued me as I have the same question. I just hadn't gotten around to it. Thanks Keith...

So below are a couple of pictures of one of these.

Thumb of 2016-03-22/GaNinFl/a893c5
Thumb of 2016-03-22/GaNinFl/fa3a5a

So any ideas as to prune or not? I do want to see them bloom this year.

I tip my hat to you.

Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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SCButtercup
Mar 22, 2016 3:22 AM CST
@ganinfl
Pretty sure these hydrangeas have blooms that are round balls but a picture from when it was blooming would help. Did you see them in summer? If they are round blossoms then prune only right after bloom; in spring all you should do is remove dead wood.
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
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GaNinFl
Mar 22, 2016 5:03 AM CST
@SCButtercup

Thanks Judy. The DW and I purchased the home last fall after most of the landscape had stopped blooming. I did take an additional picture of one of the expired blooms. However, it was such a blur that I decided not to post it. From what I can tell, these will produce a round ball type bloom. I think I will skip pruning altogether this year and just watch the progress. I did check the ph and it is being adjusted slowly to produce those blue flowers, if it does...

I tip my hat to you.
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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SCButtercup
Mar 23, 2016 2:48 AM CST
Good luck, and post photos.
BTW the panicle shaped hydrangeas are spring bloomers. And consider adding one; I have Little Lime, which is small version of limelight. And this kind of hydrangea bloom color unchanged by ph.
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
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GaNinFl
Mar 23, 2016 5:20 AM CST
Thank You! again Judy... I am going to need some spring bloomers. There are, lots of azaleas that were left on the property and they are blooming rather nice right now. All are a pink so I need some diversity amongst them.
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Garden Photography Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
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GaNinFl
Apr 23, 2016 9:33 PM CST
Thought I would come back and post a photo taken today of the hydrangea...


Thumb of 2016-04-24/GaNinFl/847af2

Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Garden Photography Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Image
GaNinFl
May 30, 2016 8:12 AM CST
update
Hydrangea's blooming in my new lawn.

Thumb of 2016-05-30/GaNinFl/5aff9c

Thumb of 2016-05-30/GaNinFl/a032ce


Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/GaNinFl/

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