The Q&A Archives: Pruning Hydrangea

Questioner's Location: CHATTANOOGA, TN
Date: July 8, 2007

Question: I have planted a hydrangea flower bed. The Annabelle's are blooming now. As the bloom dies out do I need to cut it off at this time or let it dry on the bush?

I was just watching a HGTV show and they mentioned cutting too late in the season will stop plants from blooming and they would just be a green bush.

I'm confused. Please help.

Answer: I can understand the confusion! Many spring flowering shrubs develop flower buds over the summer months so pruning late in the season can remove those developing flower buds resulting in no flowers the following spring. Not so with your Annabelle hydrangeas. These plants produce flowers on new wood so pruning in the summer or even early spring before their normal flowering time will not affect their ability to flower. You can safely prune off the spent flowers as soon as they begin to look wilty and dry. The plant may even produce more flowering stems later this summer where you made the prunig cuts - a real bonus for you. Hope this clears up the confusion!

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