Just Getting Started
Full Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:46 am
Location: Cleveland

Cutting back the long stems of a Hydrangea

I have a few Hydrangea plants in a garden which still have the long stems sticking up from last years blossums. I know I should have cut them back in the Fall but now I want to know if I can cut them back now in the spring? Will this stop them from flowering? Also what can I put on them to fertilize them. Is Miracle Gro the best thing to use?

Thanks,

Just Getting Started
Tom Rohlfs

phred
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Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: central virginia

this is a good question. I got about 7 plants from an in line nursery over a year ago and planted the root systems. they came up quite small and one didn't make it. This year they are coming back with courage. Mine have "stems" and I have wondered the same thing.

phred
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: central virginia

FYI, Tom

I did not trim these back and I noticed today the new growth has covered the dry stems

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Hi guys...

Yes you can get back growth on second year wood, indeed in most hydrangeas it's the only place you will get flowers (some of the new ones bloom on first year wood; there's even a first year lacecap called 'Twist and Shout' now 8) )

JGS, as you noted last year was the time to cut back, but right after flowering to give next years buds time to set up (unless you get one of the new first year types). Cutting the old flower off now won't do much of anything other than than make your plant look better, as long as you are not taking flower buds set last year, which where lessened by the fact that you left the flower sets on to try and produce seed, which uses a great deal of a plant's energies, energies we could have been directing into this years flowers. So this year, as the blossoms die off, prune them off, and you will have a much better year the following one...

As for fertilizer, we don't like blue goo and recommend organic fertilizers. I use corn gluten a lot, fish hydrolysate, kelp, soy based fertilizers and lots and lots of compost. If you are interested in why we like organics so much, check out the [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=11]Organics Forum[/url] and the [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35]Compost Forum[/url]
Scott Reil



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