Helpful Hydrangea Pruning Tips for Homeowners in Massachusetts

Nov 16, 2020

Hydrangea Pruning Tips for Homeowners in Massachusetts

The Hydrangea plant is one of the most popular plans across Massachusetts, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are these plants beautiful, but are easy to care for, long lasting, and remain vibrant in color longer than other common shrubs. 

Hydrangea pruning is necessary to ensure the longevity of the plant and make space for the new season of blooming! Hydrangeas can be pruned in late winter or early spring.

How Do I Prune My Hydrangeas?

  1. All dead stems should be removed from hydrangeas every year.
  2. After the plants are at least 5 years old, about 1/3 of the older (living) stems can be removed down to the ground each summer. This will revitalize the plant.
  3. If it becomes necessary to prune a plant to reduce its size, it may be cut back in June or July without harming the next year’s bloom. But it will return almost immediately to its former size. This is one reason why it’s best to plant a hydrangea where it does not have to be pruned.

How to Prune Mophead, Lacecap, and Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Hydrangea pruning for these plants should be done  only in the summer before August (to be safe). Some believe these hydrangeas may be pruned even into August, but this is risky. The hydrangeas may already have set their bloom buds for the next year.

Pruning Paniculata (PG) & Smooth Hydrangeas

These types of hydrangeas bloom on new wood (new stems). The only time they cannot be pruned is in the spring (‘Annabelle’) or the summer (PG) when they are preparing to bloom.

Many people grow hedges with smooth hydrangeas and cut them within a few inches of the ground each fall so they will not be an eyesore during the winter. They will still bloom beautifully in the spring/summer, however, this pruning may not allow stems to increase in size, and they may need staking to hold up the large heads.

Paniculatas (PG/Limelight types) can be pruned in the fall, winter, or spring. However, it is not necessary to prune them every year. It is suggested to trim out crossing branches, and any that do not contribute to forming whenever necessary.

How to Prune Hydrangea Trees

Paniculata hydrangeas are the only hydrangeas that can be pruned into a tree-form. If one is attempting to grow a paniculata as a tree, the developing trunk and main top branches should not be removed. If a paniculata that is trained into a tree-form is cut or broken off close to the ground, it will grow back as a shrub unless the training and pruning are started again from the new shoots.

To learn more about lawn care, hydrangea pruning tips, landscape design services in Massachusetts, and plant/shrub care, visit the JM Mento Landscape Design Services page and schedule a free consultation today!

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