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When to prune my hydrangea

zoeldayzoelday Posts: 11
Hi everyone, i have 2 hophead hydrangeas, my father in law cut them back v hard this spring and this summer they have no flower heads at all so I'm guessing they flower on old wood. So if that's the case should i prune them this summer?- i looked online and it said after flowering- but if they don't flower im not really sure when to do it and how far back i should go? i just want to prune them a bit so they don't get too big next year!
Many thanks i just love having people to ask as im only quite new to all this!


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,944
    edited June 2020
    No - just leave them now  :)
    They'll only grow so much this year, and then next year, you should get flowers, and you can follow the correct process.
    If they grow enormous within the next month or so, you can certainly a little bit off though.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    Sounds to me that they may be in the wrong location. Most mophead hydrangeas want to become quite large plants. If the incorrect pruning was because it was taking too much space it's worth thinking if it's the right plant for the spot. But agree with @Fairygirl leave it well alone this season, it has suffered enough. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • zoeldayzoelday Posts: 11
    @Fairygirl so it’s next year already and there are lots of flower heads on it yay!! So this year do I prune it back after flowering? And if so how far? 
  • zoeldayzoelday Posts: 11

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,549
    Generally speaking, flowerheads are left on mophead hydrangeas till the next spring because the old heads as they fade are usually attractive as they dry and then, over winter, they protect the new flower buds form frosts.

    If you want to control the size and vigour of your plant, take out one third of the stems right to the base once the main flush of flowers starts to fade.  It will then produce healthy new shoots and the following year you take out another third, being sure to remove the older stems.  That way your plant will be renewed every 3 years.

    Don't forget to give it a generous dollop of slow release fertiliser for flowering shrubs every spring and to make sure it doesn't go thirsty, especially in hot dry spells.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • zoeldayzoelday Posts: 11
    Thank you! That’s great advise! 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,549
    Hope it works for you.

    Have to admit I inherited 2 of these things, one with attractive deep pink/crimsony flowers and the other, more vigorous, with muddy purple flowers.  I got very cross with the latter last year, growing huge after feeding and still having muddy flowers so I hacked it back a lot and don't really care if it doesn't flower again.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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