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Prune Hydrangea

Prune Hydrangea
Posted on 18-7-2023 by Nina-Beheerder

How do I prune a hydrangea?

It is not necessary to prune a hydrangea for it to mature into an eye-catching beauty. When pruning hydrangeas that grow their flowers on old wood, maintenance is as simple as deadheading the plant at the end of March. Cut them back to just above the top pair of thick and healthy buds, and new shoots will grow on the old stems. To maintain good growth and encourage abundant flowering, it is essential to regularly regenerate growth through pruning. Let the bush grow at its own pace for the first three years, and then cut about a quarter of the oldest and thickest branches to the ground every year after that. This also applies to mountain hydrangeas, and when practised regularly will allow you to regenerate the entire shrub every four years. Climbing hydrangeas do not generally require this level of pruning though, and only need attention when the shrub grows too large or too full. Hydrangeas that grow new flower buds on annual wood are best pruned in the springtime. In March you can cut these types of hydrangea back to about thirty centimetres above the ground. Varieties of hydrangea that bloom annually on new wood are the smooth and panicle hydrangeas. If you prune back smooth hydrangeas vigorously they will produce beautiful, large flowers later in the season. If you find smaller, spherical flowers more appealing, cut it back lightly and avoid heavy pruning.

Propagating hydrangeas

If you want to transform your garden into a sea of beautiful flowers, then why not try propagating hydrangeas yourself? Summer is the best time to propagate, and cuttings can be taken in a few different ways. Layering is the fastest of these techniques, and all you need is a low growing branch from your plant to get started. Remove the lower leaves from the branch first, ensuring that the upper leaves are still intact. Lay the branch on the ground and cover it with earth, making sure the remaining leaves are protruding above the soil. Place a brick or stone on the soil-covered part of the branch to keep it in the ground, and it will soon start to sprout roots without you needing to do anything more. After a year you can dig up the cuttings and re-plant them in another location. This method is the easiest way for you to propagate hydrangeas and spread them through your garden.

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