Can I Prune Back My Hydrangeas?
After the harsh summer heat and lack of rain your Hydrangeas may not be as pretty as you’d like. If this is the case and you are curious if you can cut them back here’s the answer:
It depends upon the variety of Hydrangea that you have. Whether it blooms on last years stems (old wood) or on new growth (new wood).
Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculate)–
blooms on new growth so “prune on”. They usually bloom in late summer so don’t prune them then.
Examples are: Fire Light®, Limelight, Little Lime®, Quick Fire®, Little Quick Fire®
Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) –
Only prune when the flowers begin to fade. Flower buds begin forming in late summer for the following season, so don’t prune this type of hydrangea after August 1.
Examples are: Cityline®, Let’s Dance series®
Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) –
bloom on new growth so pruning hard in late winter or early spring promotes new growth which will produce more flowers.
Examples are: Incrediball®, & Annabelle
Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) –
bloom on the previous season’s growth so prune right after flowering in the fall or in early winter. Don’t take more that 1/3 of the total growth when pruning.
Examples are: Tara®, Alice, Ellen Huff
Endless Summer® Hydrangea Collection –
Are unique since they bloom off of new and old wood so you can cut them back and still have blooms next year.
Examples are: The Original Endless Summer®, Summer Crush®, Twist & Shout®, Blushing Bride®, & Bloomstruck®
This is general pruning information. I suggest verifying the species you have and reading advice that is specific to that species prior to pruning.