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Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:52 pm
Location: Alabama

Pruning my Hydrangea

I have a question concerning the pruning of my hydrangea bushes. In the past years I have always pruned them before spring, but unfortunately I broke my back last fall and am just now getting back on my feet and back in my yard. In the meantime though down here in Alabama my hydrangea have started to develop new green leaves even along some of the old woody stems. My question is, now that I am able, should I prune like I would normally, or do a little strategic pruning or let it go for this summer? Thank you for any suggestions!

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Senior Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:50 pm
Location: Bucks County, PA

I would still prune, as long as they aren't Hydrangea macrophylla- in which case you'll prune the flowers off.

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Posts: 822
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:31 am
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

I am wondering,,, why are you having to prune hydrangeas so often? Hydrangeas normally do not require pruning (assuming they are planted in a location where they can grow to their normal size). In AL, you would not suffer from stems dried out by winter so what forces you to do that yearly? If they are planted too close to other bushes, consider transplating and using smaller "dwarf" hydrangeas in the current area.
Last edited by luis_pr on Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Full Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:48 pm
Location: Tennessee

maybe some parts of northern AL suffer from winter dryout?

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Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:28 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

We have a pretty large hydrangea bush in our yard & never prune it- however, it blooms beautiful flowers every year. I planted a smaller one in the yard and didn't prune that one either- but I just planted it last year, so we'll see if it even comes up.

Should we prune the hydrangeas? if so, when & how? I didn't know they required pruning...I hope we aren't harming them.

thanks :)

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Posts: 822
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:31 am
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

No, hydrangeas do not normally need pruning if they have been planted in a location where the shrub will not be crowded. A simple light pruning is required to remove dead/diseased stems, improve the shape of the bush, increase the size of the flowerheads or deadhead. This light pruning should be a quick exercise where you remove dried out wood killed during winter, for example. Nothing fancy. Just a few cuts here and there and you should be done.

The only time when you may need to prune is to rejuvenate the shrub. H. macrophylla sometimes begins to develop smaller blooms after many years (say 7/10 years?). To rejuvenate, you start a 3-year long pruning program. On Year 1, you prune the 1/3 oldest stems as low as you can go. Then prune the next bunch on Year 2. And then prune the rest on year 3.


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