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Oct 14, 2018 8:35 AM CST
Just wondering when I should prune these hydrangeas back and how much should I be taking off?
Oct 14, 2018 9:59 AM CST
|Pick and choose. There are 200 million answers to your question. Hee hee hee! ;o))
Paniculatas should not be pruned during the Summer months, only because they are either preparing to bloom at around that time or are already blooming (so enjoy the blooms instead of pruning). At any other time then it is up to you. Their blooms begin to turn shades of pink during the Fall so, if you like that, you can wait until the blooms have browned out. Then again, some people like the browned out blooms during winter too and they leave them out there during winter for winter interest.
There really is no need to prune them every year. With a hydrangea paniculata tree like yours, you can prune dead wood if the stems have not leafed out by the end of May. And you can deadhead the blooms whenever you prefer. You can prune crossing branches, weak branches, "open" dark areas to more sunlight, remove flopping branches that do not self correct or prune dead wood at any time.
Annabelle-like hydrangeas should not be pruned in Spring or Summer when it is about to start blooming either or when it is already blooming (varies on your geographical location). Some people wait until the blooms turn from white to green, while others deadhead them when they turn brown. Again, some people leave the browned out blooms for winter interest too and prune them in Spring. Any stems that have not leafed out by the end of May can be pruned off. You can prune crossing branches, dark areas or dead wood at any time.
Annabelle propagates via suckers so you may want to regularly get rid of the suckers in Spring if you want to limit its width. Some people use a spade in Spring to cut the connection between the suckers and the main plant; then you can get rid of the suckers. The suckers can then be carefully replanted elsewhere or give them to a friend or a gardening club that has sales in the Spring.
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