Tips To Pruning Hydrangea Plants
Hydrangea plants provide shrubby backgrounds of lacy blooms all summer long. Newer hybrids and cultivars have added purple, green and bicolor blooms to the old standby pink, blue and white varieties. Like most flowering plants, pruning hydrangeas can help the plants stay healthy and produce more blooms. Hydrangeas that are pruned incorrectly, however, may produce fewer flowers. What is important is not so much how hydrangeas are pruned but when they are pruned. There are three main types of hydrangeas, and while two of the types can be pruned at any time, the third type should only be pruned during a specific time of the year. Care should be taken when pruning not to spread disease or encourage pests. One of the best tips for pruning hydrangeas is to understand that some hydrangeas flower on old wood, while others flower on new growth. Old wood is the previous year’s growth. This flowering pattern determines the timing for pruning. The various species of hydrangea plants that bloom on old wood are especially vulnerable to improper pruning.
When pruning hydrangea plants, the pruning shears should be clean and sharp. Dead or diseased wood should be removed as soon as it is seen, regardless of the time of year. The pruning shears should be cleaned with alcohol between cuts when cutting branches to avoid the spread of disease. Healthy branches are pruned by cutting just above a node. Pruned branches and clippings should be removed from the area as plant debris may encourage destructive pests.