trimming hydrangeas - Knowledgebase Question

Paradise, Ca
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Question by ejwedel
October 8, 2009
When is the best time to trim my hydrangeas? I live in zip code 95969. What is the rule about taking them back to a

Answer from NGA
October 8, 2009
You are probably growing hydrangea macrophylla or big leaf hydrangea. These plants can be trimmed back after the flowers fade, or you can wait until spring and trim everything back to help renew the plant. I prune mine in spring, just as new growth begins by cutting everything down to about knee-high. You can completely prune out some of the oldest, thickest stems and leave the newer stems if your plant is quite overgrown. You'll get lots of new flowering stems over the spring and the plant will fill out during the summer months. You can repeat this process every year.

The idea of pruning plants into a vase shape or V shape is to keep the center open to promote good air circulation. Shrub roses are often pruned in this manner. You can prune any shrub to a V shape, including your hydrangeas. Just choose 3-5 of the healthiest looking canes or stems to save and completely remove the rest. Evenly space the 3-5 stems that you retain and this should give you a basic V shape. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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