Hydrangea macrophylla 'Zorro'

Pruning hydrangeas

Find out how to prune all kinds of hydrangeas, including macrophylla, quercifolia and aborescens varieties.

As a general rule, hydrangeas are best pruned in spring. This is a good time to deadhead most varieties, too – leaving the seedheads on the plant over winter protects the buds beneath.


Discover nine great hydrangeas to grow.

Here’s our advice on pruning the different types of hydrangea. After pruning, mulch the plant with well rotted manure or compost.

Hydrangea macrophylla, H. serrata and H. quercifolia

Lacecap hydrangeas such as Hydrangea macrophylla and the related H. serrata, plus H. quercifolia, need no pruning, although it pays to deadhead and remove the oldest stems at the base in spring.


Hydrangea aborescens and H. paniculata

Prune Hydrangea aborescens and Hydrangea paniculata varieties in spring – cut back to the lowest healthy buds for big flowers or less hard for a natural look.


Hydrangea aspera

Prune Hydrangea aspera minimally in spring, just removing any dead or overly long stems.