Ask a Question forum: When to Prune These Hydrangeas

Views: 293, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
North Shore Massacusetts
erinwaymid
Nov 4, 2017 7:42 PM CST
Hello,

I have these hydrangeas that are very tall (10 feet) that are growing up to and covering my windows. I just moved into the house in the summer and they did not bloom this year. An arborist told me they are hydrangeas. I want to cut these way down, any advice?

Also, they alternate with some Rose of Sharon that are also very tall. I want to prune those back too. Any tips regarding timing and/or technique will be appreciated.


Thank you
Thumb of 2017-11-05/erinwaymid/913bdd


Thumb of 2017-11-05/erinwaymid/2e03cf


Thumb of 2017-11-05/erinwaymid/1816e5

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Nov 4, 2017 8:42 PM CST
Cut Rose of Sharon now, wherever you end your cuts, they will branch, add a foot or two length and then bloom next summer.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 5, 2017 5:04 AM CST
Welcome!

I'm not sure they are hydrangeas, are they the ones with the red stems? I'd be inclined to prune them in spring since it is late in the year now and slow sealing wounds may let fungal diseases in and cause die-back. I think it is unlikely that the hydrangea, if indeed that's what it is, is one of those that blooms on old wood so it should still flower if pruned in spring. If it is one that flowers only on old wood, then whether you prune them now or in spring won't make any difference, they won't flower next year either way. Can you show us a close-up picture of a hydrangea twig showing next year's buds, and a leaf so we can confirm the ID?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Nov 5, 2017 7:34 AM CST
I agree, they don't seem like hydrangeas to me either..
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
Foliage Fan Orchids Cactus and Succulents
Image
ScotTi
Nov 5, 2017 7:49 AM CST
I would suggest if you do not want your windows blocked by tall shrubs pull these out and start over with shrubs that are more suited for the space.
You can transplant after cutting back to a more suited place for these tall growing shrubs.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Nov 5, 2017 8:51 AM CST
well, what ScotTi says is really best. New houses get shrubs that aren't always the best choice, they are just pretty at the time they are planted. Many are neglected until much too big. You'll be pruning these tall things every year, or paying for it. It is quicker now to yank these and plant new, than even the pruning job and getting rid of branches.
There might be some decent choices still available to plant, though it is getting late and the big stores will be tossing plants and having cut Xmas trees.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
North Shore Massacusetts
erinwaymid
Nov 5, 2017 9:47 AM CST
Thank you all for your responses. Here is a close up of the red-twigged "Hydrangeas(?)"

Also, I have a hydrangea tree that was just damaged somewhat by the wind storm. I want to prune it now just below the dead blooms, I added a picture of that as well.

Thanks again for your help. I got a professional quote to maintain all of my shrubs and trees and the pricetag was way to high, so I am going to try it myself for a while.

Thanks
Thumb of 2017-11-05/erinwaymid/c60d8c


Thumb of 2017-11-05/erinwaymid/7415d8

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 5, 2017 10:36 AM CST
I think the red stemmed plants are red-twigged dogwood. You can cut those down close to the base but they're a bit prone to diseases so again I would do it in the spring when it has warmed up a bit and the buds are swelling but have not yet burst. Ditto for the tree hydrangea. You can prune the latter's top growth quite hard in spring and it will still flower the same year. In my experience the harder you prune it (be careful to leave at least one node on each branch) the larger will be the flowers. This can be a plus or a minus because they tend to flop more with the weight especially after rain.

I'd agree with the above suggestion and remove the dogwood. There are more desirable and lower-growing plants that you could replace them with.
[Last edited by sooby - Nov 5, 2017 10:36 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1580186 (8)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Salvia and Crocosmia in late June"