Plant ID forum: What type of hydrangea is this? And when can I cut it back?

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Name: J S
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
Nov 11, 2018 3:39 PM CST
I would like to know what variety of hydrangea this is and when and how to prune it.
Thumb of 2018-11-11/harjen76/c46e94

Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
Nov 12, 2018 4:05 AM CST
Although it looks small (not sure if it has flowered yet or before), can you post any pictures of the blooms? Identifying hydrangeas is much easier with a bloom. The leaves in the pictures resemble paniculata leaves but be aware that there are other plants with leaves similar to hydrangea leaves (some vibirnums, etc). Paniculata leaves tend to be 3-6" long. Usually dark green. Serrated. In the Fall, they tend to turn a shade of yellow, some of them turn a nice medium yellow. they sometimes have three leaves at a node. Paniculatas have panicle-shaped blooms.

Here is a link to view the major types of hydrangeas... and with lots of pictures:

Paniculatas produce flower buds from new wood in late Spring to early Summer so they can be pruned at all other times. But there is no need to touch that shrub. It does not need to be pruned. I rarely prune my hydrangeas.

Some people will deadhead (different from pruning) any large paniculata blooms in areas that get tons of snow to prevent breaking of stems, especially with tree-form paniculatas.

The best time to prune may be when the leaves have fallen so you can "see" the branches through all the leaves. For that reason, late Fall, winter or early Spring are all a nice time to prune paniculatas... First, remove any large blooms or leave the browned out blooms for winter interest, improve the plant structure (get rid of crossing branches or overly large branches.... compared to the rest) or open the plant to more sunlight.

Want to skip pruning pruning for a few years? That is fine too.

Note: except to remove dead wood or to remove too strong growth on some stems, I do not prune paniculatas or any of the others. Of course, at the end of May, any stems that have not leafed out can be cut off. Over here, I notice leaf out around late March, on average.

Depending on the variety, paniculatas can be very tall but there are new compact ones that stay around 4'.
[Last edited by luis_pr - Nov 12, 2018 6:29 AM (+)]
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