hydrangea pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Penfield, Ne
Avatar for maureenbigs
Question by maureenbigs
October 6, 2009
If I don't know the variety of hydrangea--how do I know how to prune it? I don't want to cut off next year's flowers!

Answer from NGA
October 6, 2009
Wait until frost nips the foliage. This will signal the plant to go into dormancy and you can safely prune it back by about one-third. In the spring you should see new leaf buds swell on the canes or stems. At this time you can cut the plant back to about knee high, cutting each stem to an outward facing bud where you want new growth to emerge. The new stems that develop on the old wood should produce flowers for you. If the stems die down to ground level (you see no leaf buds on them), but you see new growth coming from the crown of the plant, then cut all the old stems down to ground level. With any luck you have the type of hydrangea that flowers on the new growth of the season without requiring old wood. Good luck with your hydrangea!

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