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When to Prune Hydrangeas

Shashank Nakate Jun 18, 2019
From florist to climbing to peegee, hydrangeas come in a variety of types. When should they be pruned is decided based on their type. Here is the explanation of a few kinds of hydrangeas and when exactly should they be pruned and trimmed.
The pruning time and method of shearing the branches/leaves varies for each kind of hydrangeas. However, one thing that's common to all types is the removal of spent blooms and dead stems.
For appropriate pruning, it is necessary to be able to identify and differentiate between the different types correctly. Pruning is an important part of hydrangea care and should not be overlooked.

Florist Hydrangea

Its botanical name is Hydrangea macrophylla. It is also called Mophead and Bigleaf. Color of these hydrangeas change with soil pH. Acidic soil would give blue colored flowers, while alkaline soil may give pink blooms.
Some florist hydrangeas might also grow white-colored flowers. Its dark green and glossy leaves make the identification process a bit easier, too. Another sign for identifying the leaves is their serrated border/margin.
These hydrangeas should essentially be pruned after the flowers fade away. The older and dead branches need to be pruned in a timely manner. However, pruning out all the old branches is not advisable since, they provide support for new growth. Make sure you don't prune the trees during spring and later fall. If done so, the buds and hence blooms are lost.

Climbing Hydrangea

Unlike other hydrangeas, that are mainly shrubs, climbing hydrangea is a vine (climber). Minimal pruning during summer serves the purpose. Start pruning only when the plant is properly established in an area and gets vigorous growth.

Peegee Hydrangea

The flowers of this plant grow in big, snowball-shaped clusters. The plant blooms from mid to late summer. Flowers are initially white in color and turn pink as they begin to mature. Pruning is mainly carried out to stop its excess growth.
The best season for pruning Peegee hydrangeas is between late winter and the beginning of spring, since it promotes the growth of flower buds. To keep the plant in shape, dead flowers should be cleared off.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Its botanical name is Hydrangea quercifolia. It can be identified from its oakleaf shaped leaves. Pruning time for this hydrangea extends from late winter to early spring. In this period, dead wood should be removed.
Remember, pruning is necessary for the healthy growth and survival of hydrangeas and it should be carried out regularly. Keep these details in mind when you prune the hydrangeas in your backyard the next time.