Should you Prune Hydrangeas in the Fall?

When to prune your hydrangeas is usually a little bit of a fancy subject, and due to this, it offers gardeners a bit of hysteria. Fall feels just like the pure time to do pruning as a result of so many vegetation profit from being reduce utterly again at the moment of the yr. 

Pruning timing all comes all the way down to what kind of hydrangea you may have rising in your backyard. After getting this info, you may make an informed choice on when it is best to do your pruning. 

The commonest drawback I hear is, “They simply didn’t bloom this yr.” There’s a couple of cause this may occur, however pruning on the incorrect time is on the prime of the listing. As a result of hype of dropping blooms, we now have all grow to be a bit timid about pruning. Let’s dig deeper into hydrangea pruning to grasp the very best timing for every species and tricks to make this backyard activity a breeze!

The Quick Reply

Hydrangeas produce flower buds in two other ways: on outdated wooden or on new wooden. Due to this, the timing of pruning can grow to be sophisticated. If what kind you’re rising, you may make an informed choice. If you’re nonetheless figuring out what you’re working with, it’s best to not prune within the fall.  Pruning your hydrangeas on the incorrect time may end up in a summer season with out blossoms in your backyard.

The Lengthy Reply

Hydrangeas don’t usually require pruning, however there are occasions when it may be helpful. These shrubs can grow to be unruly and want a contemporary begin. Different instances, pruning may help rejuvenate a plant. Let’s break down the variations and decide when to prune.

Previous Wooden vs. New Wooden

There are lots of totally different varieties, which come from about six totally different species. Every species is a bit totally different, however the essential distinction to notice in pruning is when every species produces its flower buds. 

Previous Wooden

Decide you probably have a plant that flowers on outdated wooden or new wooden.

Varieties that develop their flower buds on outdated wooden will produce them towards the tip of the summer season or early fall. Whereas outdated wooden hydrangeas will nonetheless produce new stems and foliar progress within the spring, these new stems is not going to produce the cherished blossoms. Flowers will solely develop on the older wooden.

New Wooden 

Close-up of a flowering Hydrangea paniculata bush in a sunny garden. Hydrangea paniculata, commonly known as the panicle hydrangea, is a deciduous shrub that features elongated, conical clusters of creamy pink flowers. The leaves are large, oval, with serrated edges, dark green.
Pruning in late winter or early spring encourages new progress and considerable blooms within the upcoming season.

Those who develop their flower buds on new wooden is not going to produce that new wooden till spring. These hydrangeas supply extra flexibility in terms of pruning.

Hydrangea species breakdown:

Previous Wooden Bloomers New Wooden Bloomers 
Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) Easy hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala)

When to Prune Previous Wooden Sorts

Close-up of female hands with blue pruning shears in a raspberry jacket trimming faded hydrangea flowers in the autumn garden. The plant has vertical brown stems with large hemispherical inflorescences at the tops. These inflorescences consist of many dry brown four-petaled flowers.
Varieties that bloom on outdated wooden don’t require common pruning.

Bigleaf, mountain, and climbing hydrangeas are all species that produce their flower buds on outdated wooden or wooden no less than one season outdated. These will produce flower buds shortly after the present blooming interval ends. 

These species don’t sometimes must be pruned repeatedly. Causes for pruning may very well be wanting to keep up a sure measurement or form, eradicating any broken branches, or rejuvenating an older plant. 

Previous wooden hydrangeas must be pruned as rapidly after blooming as doable. Pruning whereas deadheading is an effective way to make sure you aren’t snipping off any newly produced flower buds. You don’t want to prune these hydrangeas within the fall.

When to Prune New Wooden Sorts

Close-up of a gardener's hands in camouflage gloves pruning faded Panicle Hydrangea flowers using blue pruning shears. Hydrangea is a bushy shrub with medium-sized, oval, dark green leaves with jagged edges. Hydrangea produces large, cone-shaped panicles that consist of pale green, four-petaled flowers that turn pink as they age.
Varieties that bloom on new wooden in spring supply flexibility in pruning.

The pruning of panicle and easy hydrangeas could be extra versatile than outdated wooden sorts. These new wooden bloomers is not going to produce their flower buds till spring. The flower buds seem on new progress from the present season. 

Whereas there are smaller, or dwarf, species of panicle and easy hydrangeas, these shrubs will get a bit bigger than the opposite species. Typically, these hydrangeas will probably be pruned to about knee peak or at floor stage. This isn’t all the time needed, however it’s a gardener’s desire. 

Pruning of latest wooden varieties must be performed at any level after blooming, together with fall. Any reducing have to be performed by late winter to keep away from snipping off any flower buds. In case your hydrangeas are giant, contemplate leaving a number of canes in place. These canes can supply help for newer branches that are producing very giant blooms. 

What About Reblooming Sorts?

Close-up of Endless Summer hydrangea blooming in the garden. The Endless Summer hydrangea is a variety of Hydrangea macrophylla known for its large, mophead-type blooms. These blooms vary in color from blue to purple to pink. The plant has broad, dark green leaves with serrated edges.
Reblooming varieties like ‘Countless Summer season’ are favored for his or her double blooms in a single season.

Reblooming sorts, similar to ‘Countless Summer season’, are well-liked and delightful vegetation. These hybridized hydrangeas bloom twice per season, whereas most others will solely produce one set of blooms. This works as a result of reblooming hydrangeas produce flower buds on each outdated and new wooden

To be protected, it’s best to prune these instantly after blooming has ended, which can happen in late summer season or early fall. Deal with your reblooming hydrangeas like outdated wooden hydrangeas to salvage subsequent yr’s blossoms. 

Pruning Ideas

Close-up of a gardener's hand in a green glove cutting the hydrangea bush back to the ground using green pruning shears. The hydrangea bush has vertical woody stems and shoots of new young leaves of bright green color.
Slicing canes to the bottom can promote extra blooms, and eradicating outdated canes promotes higher well being in new wooden sorts.

Whether or not you resolve to deal with or forego a fall prune on your hydrangeas, a number of key factors will assist you alongside the way in which. 

  • Utilizing the appropriate instruments will make every part a lot simpler. I like to make use of traditional hand pruners for this job. They’re small and match simply in my palms, however they’re sturdy sufficient to chop by means of hydrangea stems. 
  • Prune one cane at a time, trying again at your progress. You may all the time make a second reduce. 
  • It’s useful to take away spent flowers so that you get a greater view of the shrub’s form. 
  • In case your hydrangea is a brand new wooden bloomer, reducing the canes again to the bottom may help promote a extra prolific bloom.
  • Take away older canes first. Eradicating these outdated canes or lifeless wooden will assist the general well being of your hydrangea. It will improve airflow throughout the shrub, limiting the danger of fungal ailments. 
  • Check out your hydrangea. Flower buds are simple to identify. If you happen to see the flower buds current on the stems of your hydrangea, don’t prune!

Bear in mind that you could be not must prune in any respect. It isn’t required. Sure, there could be advantages to this gardening activity, however usually, hydrangeas will thrive with none pruning in any respect. 

Remaining Ideas

In the end, you do not want to prune hydrangeas within the fall. Don’t let pruning stress you out. These vegetation have gained a status for being excessive upkeep, however that’s unfaithful. If you’re not sure what kind of hydrangea you may have, skip pruning for a season so you are able to do some further analysis. If you’re okay with lacking a season of flowers since you want a rejuvenating prune, simply go for it. These flowering shrubs are resilient and can survive. Joyful pruning… or not!

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