Gardening Tips

How to prune hydrangeas

How to prune hydrangeas

Hydrangeas, with a botanical name Hydrangeas, are deciduous shrubs that can reach almost a meter and a half in height. But the most striking thing about this plant, without a doubt, is its spectacular flowering. Hence, it is one of the most used species in garden decoration and even to give a touch of color to homes.

Beautiful but delicate, hydrangeas need specific care to promote their growth, and the most important of these is proper pruning. In this Green Ecology article you will learn everything you need to know how to prune hydrangeas.

When to prune hydrangeas

Remember that to promote flowering of a hydrangea it is recommended to do one pruning a year. In the same way, the pruning that we carry out must favor hydration, since it is a plant that requires a high dose of irrigation, for this reason we must remove the weakest branches throughout the year so that the plant takes better advantage of all the water it obtains for its optimal growth.

When to Prune Hydrangeas Macrophyllas

In this case, we recommend that you do the pruning just at the end of winter and, even if it has been very harsh, you can do the pruning of your hydrangea at the beginning of spring.

When to Prune Panicular or Tree Hydrangeas

We can start pruning this variety of hydrangea from the end of summer, when the flowers begin to wither and the new vegetation begins to sprout.

How To Prune Hydrangeas - When To Prune Hydrangeas

Tools for pruning hydrangeas

Do not forget that before starting work it is necessary check the good condition of the tools that you are going to use to avoid possible injuries or illnesses. For this reason, all our tools must be disinfected and sharpened, to the extent of our possibilities. The most used to prune hydrangeas these are:

  • hand scissor: Comfortable and easy to use, hand shears are perfect for trimming the finest branches and stems.
  • Long handle pruning shears: In the case of needing to prune the oldest branches, it is preferable to use this type of scissors, since thanks to their lever effect it will be easier for us to make a clean cut on a thicker branch.

If you want to know more about the tools, here you can find more information about a Basic Gardening Tool Kit.

What branches should be pruned in hydrangeas

During its growth, the hydrangea will produce various types of branches. It is of vital importance that we know how to recognize them at a glance to facilitate the work when it comes to pruning. So these are the types of branches and stems of hydrangeas and which ones we should prune and which ones we shouldn’t:

  • old branches: they are the most woody branches that are usually found in the central area of ​​the bush. We must eliminate them completely to prevent them from absorbing nutrients and this leads to a loss of energy from the rest of the newer branches.
  • Branches about three years old: they are young branches that have grown above six buds. Of these we must eliminate approximately 50%, always favoring the penetration of light throughout the bush. In the event that these end up in flower, we will make a cut above the bud.
  • Pacifiers: are the youngest branches. They have an elongated stem that always ends in flower. Unlike the other two types of branch, we should not cut them. Suckers favor the flowering and rejuvenation of hydrangeas.

How to prune hydrangeas step by step

Knowing all of the above, which is vital for this process, we proceed to explain how to prune hydrangeas step by step correctly:

  1. Prune off all old stems and branches. For this type of branches, remember that it is better to use long-handled scissors. It is recommended that if it is a young plant, one of these stems be left to ensure its attachment to the ground.
  2. Then, select the young branches and always cut above the bud. Try at all times to create an open arrangement of the bush so that light penetrates. Use hand scissors here to make it easier for you to access as many branches as possible. Do not forget that reducing the size of the plant will favor its flowering.
  3. Finally, water and fertilize your hydrangea with a special fertilizer for them. Hydrangeas are acid soil plants, so we recommend that you use a low pH substrate and a specific fertilizer for hydrangeas. In addition, in this way, you will get that blue color so representative of these flowers.
How to prune hydrangeas - How to prune hydrangeas step by step

Other tips for pruning hydrangeas

A little trick to never forget when to prune a hydrangea regardless of its type, is prune just when the last flower wilts. The flowers provide protection to the hydrangea during frosts, so they are essential to maintain the health of our plant and, therefore, it is convenient to wait until they are gone.

Also, for get good hydrangea cuttings, we must do them just when the flowers begin to harden. For its reproduction by cuttings, we will cut the flowers and leave at least three nodes, removing the leaves closest to the base and reducing the remaining ones by half. Learn more about How to make cuttings with this other post.

Below you can see a video about the care and pruning of hydrangeas.

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