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Hydrangea Pruning Tips

July 29, 2020

Hydrangea Pruning Tips

We made it easy to learn hydrangea pruning tips. Proper pruning of hydrangeas will impact the showy display of blooms. Some types don’t need pruning and others benefit from it.

Have you ever pruned hydrangeas in spring and noticed you had a lack of flowers in summer? Chances are, you did not prune your hydrangea at the right time.

Once you identify the type of hydrangea in your garden, you all know if they bloom or new wood. Depending on when how they bloom, will help decide when to prune correctly.

We put together some quick points to help you take care of hydrangeas.



Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla

  • Bloom on old wood; do not prune
  • Protect in winter
Panicle Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata

  • Blooms on new wood; prune in late winter or early spring
Smooth Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens

  • Blooms on new wood; prune in late winter or early spring.
Mountain Hydrangea

Hydrangea serrata

  • Blooms on old wood; do not prune
Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

  • Blooms on old wood; do not prune
  • Protect in the winter
Climbing Hydrangea

Hydrangea petiolaris

  • Blooms on old wood; do not prune

If you prune bigleaf, mountain, oakleaf, or climbing hydrangeas you are removing the flower buds. Hydrangeas will have a lack-lustre display of blooms if the buds are removed. Sometimes a cold flash in spring can also damage blooms. Keep them protected when there is a frost or freeze threat.

Smooth and panicle hydrangeas will still flower if they are pruned in early spring (before the plant breaks dormancy) or winter. If you happen to prune in late spring or summer, the buds could be delayed. Flowers may be delayed or will not occur that year. These plants also need time to mature, be patient and you will be greeted with flowers. Pruning in the summer will not increase the number of flowers.

  • Hydrangeas need well-drained moist soil. They don’t like to dry out completely or have consistently wet soil.
  • Hydrangeas need at least four to five hours of sunlight, ideally in the morning. If you have a full-sun garden, panicle hydrangeas are the most sun tolerant.
  • The root system on hydrangeas is quite shallow; they dry out quickly. Water hydrangeas deeply and frequently. Adding two or three layers of bark mulch will help hydrangeas retain their moisture level.

Looking to grow hydrangeas? Check out the Sheridan Shop.