Alan Titchmarsh shows off his hydrangeas
Many gardeners often wonder if pruning hydrangeas is necessary, and the answer is yes.
Gardeners will need to prune hydrangeas to help keep them in a neat and tidy shape. If they don’t prune their hydrangeas each year, the old flowers can get tangled with new growth.
What gardeners will also find is that the hydrangea gets taller and leggier over time as the years go on. Resulting in flowers on the top of the hydrangea plant and then exposed woody bare stems below.
Yearly pruning will keep hydrangeas bursting with flowers and without pruning, they get congested and can start to look bare and leafless at the bottom.
However, knowing when to prune back these plants is vital as pruning at the wrong time can lose you flowers.
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Luckily hydrangea enthusiasts have shared when they think the “best time” is to prune those stunning plants.
Taking to the Hydrangeas in the UK Facebook page, Olesia Cooper asked: “When is the best time to prune hydrangeas, please? I’m new to gardening. Have heard mixed reviews. Some are saying in spring. Some saying now.”
Group members in the comments section were all in agreement that hydrangeas should be prunes only in spring.
Micheal Walton said: “Always best time in spring. You can prune back quite hard if need be and it will rejuvenate the plant.”
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Joy Cooling commented: “Spring after the last frost, the dead flowers protect the new growth.”
Sandra Peters claimed: “With hydrangea macrophylla you can take off dead-heads and prune only in spring. But Beware that if you prune a stem now that stem will produce no flowers the following year.
Jayne Burgess wrote: “Don’t do it at all now until the first frost has gone or they won’t flower next year. Leave deadheads alone.”
Joyce Jolly said: “Springtime, then you only take off the deadheads down to new shoots and give them some food.”
Sheila Petillo urged: “Don’t take heads off until the first frost has gone as it protects and make sure they have plenty of water and food.”
Some hydrangeas bloom on new growth, whereas others primarily set flower buds on old wood. Regardless of this, it is best to wait to prune all hydrangeas until spring.
In autumn, hydrangeas are in the process of going dormant. They do not produce very much new growth until the following spring.
Plants that are pruned at this time are at a greater risk of winter injury because new growth at the site of wounds is more susceptible to extreme cold. Autumn pruning can additionally reduce the number of flowers the following summer.
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