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Hydrangea pruning

I need to cut my hydrangea back as it is taking up so much space on the pavement and the flowers look to be fading.

Can somebody knowledgeable take a look at the pictures and let me know if I’m okay just to cut back and whether I should go back to new or old wood?


  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,698
    @jamesharcourt If you look at the tread entitled "Hydrangea Explosion" I think you will have the answer you need. @Lyn described what she had done to hers and @AnniD had shown a useful link. Don't think you have a problem.  :)
  • Thanks @Fran IOM I had a look but I'm afraid I'm still confused.

    I assume my Hydrangea falls into the first category Monty talks about, which is the one which flowers on last year's growth.  If that's the case, I have to cut back to the ground and lose flowers for next year, by the sounds of it??

    Let me know if I'm getting confused here.  Hopefully my pics show what type of Hydrangea it is.  I'm trying not to sacrifice totally flowers next year.  Perhaps I need just to cut the stems which flop into the overgrown zone to the ground.  But not sure what that leaves.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090
    You’re right  James, if you cut it right back to the ground and start again, you will lose flowers that year. But best if you do that at the end of March or beginning of April. 
    What you can do, if you want to do it gradually, thus keeping some flowering stalks, is to cut back now what’s hanging over the road (right to the base) as people are going to complain, then next spring just cut a few trunks right back to the ground. 
    It will then flower on the few you leave.

    personally, I don’t like to see them like that, I prefer to give a good cut to the ground and forego flowers that year, then the following year you will have a nice even round bush which you can just trim back by a few buds to keep in shape.
    its up to you of course, but in answer to your first question, yes, you can cut into the old wood as low as you can. 
     You will love it later. 🙂
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,456
    if you don't want to lose the flowers cut back to the lowest bud on the stem in spring and remove about third of the oldest stems .  It does look like a bit of a monster so it may be best to rejuvenate and cut it all back hard , best to look at it again in spring. 
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090
    Thats what I said, but it depends if you like that up and down look, some short some long. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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