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Jean Genie

I have a very large Hydrangea Macrophylla . Last year I gave it a severe pruning as it  was getting a bit too tall . I did this knowing I would not get any flowers this year but hoped to reduce the size. Unfortunately , it's grown back bigger than ever.

Might be a bit of a daft question but is there another way to keep it in check or is the clue in the name (macro). Be a shame to remove it but I'm running out of options. It's about 12 years old .

Thanks, Jean.

Alina W

Yes. Prune out a third of the branches to ground level; do this for three years and you will have a smaller bush but plenty of flowers and a good bushy plant.

Pottie Pam

Hi Jean, I was listening to a garden programme and someone had the same problem. The gardening expert advised them to prune a third back to the ground every year and they wouldn't lose all the flowers but would keep the plant in check.

Jean Genie

Thanks, Alina and Pam. I thought I would have to dig it out . I can't remember the name of it but it has white flowers tinged with pink and really brightens up a dingy , damp corner of the garden.

Hi Jean, be careful because on a garden prog, they said to look for oldest branches to cut down to the ground not all of them.

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Jean Genie

Righty - ho - I'll bear that in mind , thanks.  Problem being I pruned EVERYTHING back - oops .

Bookertoo

Now you know why it is advised to cut back a third of the old shoots, if you do it all the bush thinks it is in danger and responds by sending up as many shoots as it possibly can - in the hope it can flower and set seed to survive.

Jean Genie

If I trace the oldest shoots back and use the one in three method would I still be able to reduce the size of it  ? I should have known better, I suppose but it was an act of sheer desperation - it was enormous.  It's even bigger now - that's one mistake I won't be repeating again. Sorry for all the questions but I think I may be able to tell which are the oldest shoots.

Alina W

Yes, you will be able to restrain it - just don't exceed the 1/3, and it should be happy.

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