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unsightly hydrangea

katrinkempkatrinkemp KentPosts: 74
Happy New Year everyone. It’s such a nice morning and i feel like working in the garden😅 Is it to early to tidy this hydrangea. It has lots of buds already….

Posts

  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 726
    Personally after last years adventures with late frosts I would keep those old heads on to give the young buds the best protection possible. Untidy maybe for now but best protection possible for the next couple of months..
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,729


    @katrinkemp  Mine look pretty much the same but some have virtually lost most of their leaves just leaving the dead flower heads. They also have lots of new buds. I am itching to tidy them up but leaving it till Spring as I have learnt from members on the forum that they need protection during the winter.  :) I am no expert but I'm sure you will hear from other members as to what is the best thing to do.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,584
    edited 1 January
    If you really can't wait, try just cutting back one third of the stems, right to the base.

    This will thin the plant and allow more air to circulate and rain to penetrate but will leave the old flower heads on for pruning later after the worst of the frosts are over and the plant and its new buds have less need of protection.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243
    It's only because it's mild that it still has foliage - they wouldn't normally have any at this time of year. I suppose in warmer parts of the country they might keep some though. 
    I wouldn't be touching it just now - no matter where I lived.

    If you think it's congested, you can certainly do what @Obelixx suggests, but you'd still have dead foliage on all the remaining stems :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,601
    I know they tend to look dreadful at this time of year, but tempting though it is, l would leave well alone. I suspect we might well be in for some really cold weather in the next few weeks, and they help protect the buds. 
    Last year, just as l was about to cut them off, l discovered a female blackbird pulling off the old flowerheads for nest building. Never seen that before. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243
    Not seen that either @AnniD. Lovely though.  :)
    Winter hasn't even started yet here - we didn't even have a cold autumn, but even if there's a benign winter, I wouldn't be pruning any hydrangea just now.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 626
    Fairygirl said:
    Not seen that either @AnniD. Lovely though.  :)
    Winter hasn't even started yet here - we didn't even have a cold autumn, but even if there's a benign winter, I wouldn't be pruning any hydrangea just now.  :)
    Same here. Bonkers weather.
    I sat outside earlier having a beer wearing a t-shirt. January the first?
    My nether regions were also clothed.  :)
    Sunny Dundee
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243

    My nether regions were also clothed.  :)
    I'm glad you clarified that.... :D
    Despite the strong winds, I only needed a baselayer and the lightweight waistcoat when I was out earlier. The rain had gone off too, so no waterproofs needed. Result!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • katrinkempkatrinkemp KentPosts: 74
    thanks everyone - it was so lovely outside - I forgot winter is still coming😅
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