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Hydrangea advice

Tom Hudson 143Tom Hudson 143 Posts: 1
edited March 2018 in Plants
Hello fellow gardeners, 
I've got two clusters of hydrangeas next to my front door -   They both look like different varieties.  We've not pruned them since we moved here 18 months ago, last summer we noticed they were just too big and not blooming as well as they should.   I'd be interested to know what variety they both are and hear any advice on pruning + feeding so they can bloom to their full potential. Many Thanks - Tom!


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,136
    Hard to tell what variety but they do look thirsty and starved.    I suggest you give each shrub a generous couple of handfuls of pelleted chicken manure and/or blood, fish and bone then wait a week or two to see where new leaf shoots form once the cold spell is over and then cut back every stem to a low pair of buds, probably the second up from the ground as insurance in case another heavy frost comes.   

    Once pruned, you'll then be able to get in and weed around the shrubs and loosen the soil.  Water well and add a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost.

    If they are the paniculata (cone shaped flower heads) or quercifolia (oak leaved) kind you will get fresh growth and flowers this year.  The flowers will likely be white or cream and then fade to a rich pink or deep red as the season progresses.  These can be pruned back to low buds every spring.

    If they are the mophead or lace cap kind you'll lose a season of flowers but have renewed shrubs that will flower next year on this year's new wood.  Their flowers will be most likely be pink or blue depending on what kind of soil you have.  These should be pruned immediately after flowering to maintain size and thin overcrowded stems.  

    Either way, hydrangeas don't like to be in dry soils so water in dry periods.  Feed every spring.   
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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