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Pruning hydrangea paniculata little lime advice ?

A group of these (9) were already planted when we moved here a year ago. They were disappointing last year but I did not have time to do anything like pruning or mulching, feeding etc. I suspect that nothing has been done to them for 2 maybe 3 years.
Having taken soundings I have just pruned them back by 30-50% as advised in places like the rhs and by friends who profess to have experience with them.
However the ticket attached to them advises pruning them to about 15cm which is substantially lower than I have done.
So should I prune lower or leave as they are? I’m tempted to do a 50/50 on them now and see what works best - is that sensible ?
Any advice/suggestions from experienced hydrangea Gardeners much appreciated.
i intend to add some used compost as mulch along with a little bonemeal and growmore shortly if that is advisable ?


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,545
    The way I see it is you prune to establish a permanent woody framework. The season's growth (and flowers) emerges from this framework. It's your personal choice to decide whether you go for a very low 15cm framework, or if you prune more conservatively and keep the permanent structure at say 60-90cm. The latter will just result in a slightly larger bush. You can even train as a standard if you like (in which case you keep a single upright stem, but prune everything back to a framework on top of the stem).

    I've heard it said that the more severely you prune, the larger the flowers. I'm not sure though. Huge flowers aren't that important to me.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    They flower on new wood, hence the hard pruning at this time of year, but many people find that the flowers are too heavy and the stems can't support them well, so they keep a sturdier framework as @Loxley describes, to get a better balance.
    Excess food would also tend to make softer, lusher growth, so avoid that.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    I have several Vanille Fraise and found this RHS article very informative and helpful.
    Have a look at the 3 different pruning options-

    As suggested previously I prune mine back to a woody framework which seems to work well for me here and keeps the plants to about 4ft.
    The blooms are generally held up well - unless there's very heavy rain.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thanks for the replies and for
    that link .. very interesting. It seems that I’ve done the recommended pruning though perhaps a little early.
    Will have to see if it helps in due course.
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