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How to prune this hydrangea?

I moved in to this house in summer 2013, with a hydrangea in the back garden.

 

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In that winter, I gave it a sort-of prune (didn't really know how). In spring/summer 2014, it came out alright, but maybe blooming less. This winter, I have not nipped it back at all.

Now I want to know - what's the right way to tackle this now for the sprint and summer ahead? (Assuming it isn't too late to have any effect).

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Should I be reducing it in size? Picking off some branches but not others? How do I know which?

 

Many thanks. 

 

 

 

 

Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 24,602

    look for the oldest thickest wood and remove these to open it up. Remove any branches which cross each other. To be honest, I think it looks fine.

    Devon.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,107

    I'd go with Hostafan's pruning method if it were mine. You end up with a better shaped bush in the long term. 

  • You treat hydrangeas the same as blackcurrants. You cut out 1/3 of the old growth each year, down to the base. That way you always have some flowers as they flower on 2 year old wood and you have new growth regenerating from the base for forth coming years.

  • Thanks, all.

    I just cut back some wood, including some which was budding, and didn't let conservatism about whether I was taking too much get in the way.

    It now looks a lot lighter and airier.

    I guess I will do what Verdun says and cut some branches shorter in a while.

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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 24,602

    nice job, well done Robert.

    Devon.
  • If you cut out last years new shoots you won't get flowers on them as they are this year's flowers

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