Q&As/Flowering Shrubs and Trees/Pruning Hydrangea Plants

Question

I have a hydrangea bush that has been blooming beautifully this summer. Once the flowers die off, when is the best time to prune it?

Answer

Pruning is critical to the health of hydrangeas and promotes new growth that is more vigorous and produces better blooms. At the end of the season always prune your hydrangea back hard, and each successive year remove some of the older wood completely. By removing enough of the old canes, you enable new young and healthy canes to grow. When pruning, do not cut any new green shoots as they will provide the new season flowers. 

Give the plant a boost with regular mulching of compost around the base and finish with a good layer of mulch on top to help maintain soil moisture and temperature. To encourage a strong and healthy flowering plant, feed your hydrangea with a side dressing of fertiliser in early spring once the buds begin to open, and again a month later.

Daltons top tip: If you are thinking of growing hydrangeas, the best time to plant them is late winter/early spring, when new plants are available from plant centres. Always carefully select the best available plants and choose ones that are young and healthy looking with vigorous new shoots. Avoid any root bound plants.

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