Pee Gee Hydrangea Tree-pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Willmar, MN
Avatar for krhallstrom
Question by krhallstrom
October 12, 2000
I want to harvest all of the blooms-probably close to 75--(now bronze in color)from my peegee hydrangea tree for drying. If I cut off all of the flowers with a few inches of stem, as your gardening libray suggests, am I destroying the stems on which next year's blooms will grow? Should I be cutting off some of the flowers just at their base so I don't take off too much stem? Should I leave some flowers on the tree?
Also, I am confused because my peegee appears like a small tree, with a narrow trunk, but one of the answers in your gardening library made it sound like the pee gee stems grow straight from the ground like a perennial or shrub. THANK YOU.

Answer from NGA
October 12, 2000
Apparently your Pee Gee Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) has been trained as a tree, a lovely way of growing one of these shrubs. This type of hydrangea blooms on new wood so you will not hurt anything by taking as much stem as you need to for your dried flowers. It would not harm it to cut them all off. You may also prune the plant for shape as needed in early spring or late winter each year. Incidentally, you may want to experiment with cutting the blooms at various stages of maturity. In my experience, those cut in the ealier stages seem to dry better.

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