Forum home Plants

Hydrangea Help

Hi - I'm pretty new to gardening and have been learning off the cuff since buying my own home in October. When we moved in, these two hydrangea were left behind by the previous owner. 

I'd rather they weren't as woody and more compact. I'm fairly clueless about where to cut them back to and when. 

Any advice would be appreciated. 



  • LynLyn Posts: 21,909
    They will never be any better in pots. If you can get them in the ground now, give plenty of water, then next year cut them back to a low bud, you may lose flowers next year but the following year they will look lovely.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,140
    These hydrangeas flower on wood produced the previous year so if you prune them hard you'll lose a season of flowers.   The usual thing to do is to nip out the old flowerheads in spring to leave room for the buds that have formed behind them to grow once they no longer need the protection the old flowers provide from heavy frost damage.

    You could prune a few stems now or in autumn taking them back to just above leaf clusters.   However, the main thing to do is to give them a throough soak and then either pot them into bigger pots with fresh compost and make sure those top roots are covered or, better still, get them in the ground where they'll do a lot better and need less watering and feeding.

    Have a look at this info - 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,870
    I agree with @Lyn and @Obelixx

    And next year when your plants have made lots of healthy new growth there’s an easy way to make new plants


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,909
    I can’t see any buds on those to cut them back too. I would cut the whole thing in the Spring, back to the pot, they will then shoot out from the soil. 
    If they have to be kept restricted in pots, they need large ones. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • mdonaghy644mdonaghy644 Posts: 3
    edited August 2019
    Thanks - I've been able to move one of them into a bed that I've included a photo of. The bed is quite narrow but it is about four foot deep. There are a couple of buds but not many. Is the best course of action then to wait until spring and cut right back to at least these buds if not further? 
Sign In or Register to comment.