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When do I prune my Hydrangea?

How severely do I prune?



You are supposed to leave the dried flower heads on to protect the plant in the winter but I pruned mine ages ago as it was looking sad. I am afraid I am of the opinion that if something needs pruning - just chop away - its got two chances but I expect others will disagree with me.

2 Oct, 2012


Depends on the variety - if its any variety other than H. paniculata or H. arborescens, pruning should be carried out in spring, once all risk of frost is past. H. paniculata (cone shaped flowers) can be pruned back hard now if you want.

2 Oct, 2012


Hi Bamboo,

I have 2 white paniculatas (bombshell) which I planted summer 2011, they were quite small when I planted them so last year I did not prune them. They have grown quite well this year but I did not get any flowers, is it because I did not prune them? and do the flowers grow from old growth or new growth?


2 Oct, 2012


Paniculatas flower on growth they make the same year, so if you cut it down in winter or early spring, it should flower later on that summer. Yours may not have flowered because the weather's been so horrible this year rather than because they weren't pruned.

2 Oct, 2012


If it is a paniculata and you prune in spring just cut off the old flower heads and any really old wood. If you prune too hard you may lose that year's flowers. So if you need to reduce the size of the bush it might be good to do half one year and half the next.

2 Oct, 2012


Agree, recommended latest pruning for paniculata is really late autumn winter.

2 Oct, 2012


Your answers were slightly varied but I gathered it isn't all that precise about when to prune. I was particularly anxious this year because I hadn't had blooms for three years having always pruned quite severely, but last year I was much more gentle and had some lovely flowers which I want repeated yearly!!
Thank you so much for your prompt replies.

2 Oct, 2012


No, it is quite precise, QT, but its got lost in the discussion, probably - your hydrangea is most likely NOT H. paniculata if it does not have cone shaped flowers, and if it isn't, if its a lacecap or one of the mophead variety, light pruning in late spring, as growth begins, only, when you remove dead flowerheads and any dead growth.

2 Oct, 2012


Thanks for your help!

3 Oct, 2012


Thank you all very much - now feel confident about timing etc.

3 Oct, 2012


Any confusion there was totally my fault. I read paniculata and thought lacecap, so if yours really is a paniculata ignore me completely.

5 Oct, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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