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How hard can you prune hydrangeas and if i do will they still flower next summer?


If you prune them now you are likely to lose next years flowers-the buds form behind this years

What you could do is prune half one year and half the second year-but I have never pruned mine


seems to be a mixed view on this, so i think i will play safe and leave well alone.many thanks.


This advice applies to Hydrangea macrophylla, the big mop headed and Lace cap Hydrangeas which are fairly common. However, if, like us. you grow the H. paniculata and arborescens types (H. g. Annabelle for example) then these may be cut as hard as you like in February.

The difference is where the flowers are formed, on this type they flower on new wood, so pruning back actually improves the flowering.


Steve the Gardening Vet

I savage my mophead hydrangeas back every year after they finish flowering and just make sure I cut above obviously developing buds.


Over the next couple of years I am going to be rather more brutal to them, in rotation, just so I can have other things in the garden as each year they are still coming back larger and with more flowers!

Alina W

Savaging them will simply make them grow more.

If you want to reduce the size, take out a third of the oldest branches every year in rotation.

Steve the Gardening Vet

I started doing that last year too, hopefully I'll start to see some reduction in overall size next year or there shall be a secateur massaceur...

Prune every year behind dead flower heads,down to first fat buds. It's really very easy. The harder you prune the more growth you will get and no flowers. You could take out 2 or 3 stems back to the ground as alina w says

I have a young hydrangea paniculata pinky winky which has died down for winter - when do I prune it and by how much. Thanks.

Heather Michaels

My hydrangeas in the front garden I think have all but died over this winter. The ones in the back garden seem fine, but those in the front, all the leaves went black, and the stems are also all black as are the buds that had formed, any new growth they are trying to make is also coming through black. Not really sure why. The only thing I can think of is that the front garden has a lot less shelter and cover and I know they're water loving plants but I'm assuming with all the rain we've had that they're just too waterlogged. I'm just hoping that by trimming them back a little, carefully, they'll recover for next year (I guess this year will be a no-no). All of mine are mopheads, I'll give the ones in the back garden due pruning attention in spring and just pray for the ones in the front garden.

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