London (change)
5 messages
12/08/2013 at 15:53

Hi everyone, I have about a dozen good sized mop cap hydranges in large pots.

at the end of the season, I have always left the old blooms on the plant to help protect from frost, Then come spring i have always pruned down to a couple of buds.

The plant cut off i then set these off as cuttings.

Well! this year my big potted plants have large areas with no flowers on, so I went on the web to see if anyone else had the same problem.

I ended up on an american site, and the guy who runs it seems to know his stuff, and he  states, that if you want flowers next year, do not prune! (only prune out unwanted stems or dead stuff)      If you must prune for whatever reason, you must prune before, and no later than August the 1st.

he states, that before this the plant has set next years flower buds, and if you prune after this you cut off next years flowering buds.

what do you folks do??

12/08/2013 at 16:28

Hi Peter, I prune out old or dead wood in spring and cut off the faded heads back to a healthy set of buds at the same time.  Always get flowers every year.  Only thing I've found that prevents flowering is cutting the entire bush back too hard.

12/08/2013 at 23:54

Right! paulah.

well anaysing what this guy has said on his web site, in my case it seems true what he is saying, because as i have said I usually cut back my pots to a couple of healthy buds in the spring and use the pruned off stems to start off cuttings. (nearly all will strike)

So, now I have ended up with good healthy plants with a fair amount of unflowering stems, and the cuttings that i took from them have the flowers on them....Lol! so it shows I have been cutting of my flowering buds.........doh! dummy 

13/08/2013 at 01:52

You are not on you're on Peter, I made that mistake myself a few year's back. Following summer not one flower. I now do exactly what PaulaH does with the hydrangea.

13/08/2013 at 08:01

Might have a go at leaving one of mine then, just take off the dead heads.

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