hydrangea - Knowledgebase Question

hamden, Co
Avatar for emcoates
Question by emcoates
October 3, 2010
I have nikko blue hydrangea that i would like to cut back and still have bloom next year.I know they bloom on old wood but Ive heard you can cut them back to a certain point and they will be okay .Is this true .Also when should this be done?

Answer from NGA
October 3, 2010
Nikko Blue is a mophead hydrangea and you're right, it produces flowering stems from on old wood. The key in pruning is to wait until the leaf buds begin to swell in the spring and cut your plant back to about 24" above ground level. This leaves 2' of old wood on which new flowering shoots can develop. At this time of year the only pruning you should do is when you remove the spent flowers. I know they look nice when they age and turn brown but they also collect rainwater and become heavy enough to pull the branches down. I'd just snip off the flowers as they are spent and leave the rest of the shrub alone until next spring. Enjoy your garden!

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