How to prune hydrangeas

Hydrangeas, botanical name Hydrangeas , are deciduous shrubs that can grow to almost one and a half meters in height. But the most striking thing about this plant, without a doubt, is its spectacular flowering. Hence, it is one of the most used species in garden decoration and even to give a touch of color to homes.

Beautiful but delicate, hydrangeas need specific care to promote their growth, and the most important of them is to carry out correct pruning. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know how to prune hydrangeas.

When to prune hydrangeas

Remember that to promote the flowering of a hydrangea it is advisable to prune a year . In the same way, the pruning that we carry out should favor hydration, since it is a plant that requires a high dose of irrigation, therefore we must eliminate the weakest branches throughout the year so that the plant makes better use of all the water it obtains. for optimal growth.

When to prune hydrangeas macrophyllas

In this case, we recommend that you prune right at the end of winter and, even if it has been very harsh, you can prune your hydrangea in early spring.

When to prune panicular or arborescent hydrangeas

We can start pruning this variety of hydrangea from the end of summer, when the flowers begin to wither and the new vegetation begins to sprout.

How to Prune Hydrangeas - When to Prune Hydrangeas

Hydrangea pruning tools

Do not forget that before starting to work it is necessary to check the good condition of the tools you are going to use to avoid possible injuries or illnesses. For this reason, all our tools must be disinfected and sharpened, to the best of our ability. The most used to prune hydrangeas are these:

  • Hand Scissors: Comfortable and easy to use, hand scissors are perfect for pruning the finest branches and stems.
  • Long-handled pruning shears : In the case of needing to prune the oldest branches, it is preferable to use this type of scissors, since thanks to its lever effect it will be easier for us to make a clean cut on a thicker branch.

What branches to prune in hydrangeas

During its growth the hydrangea will produce several types of branch. It is vitally important that we know how to recognize them at a glance to facilitate work when pruning. Thus, these are the types of branches and stems of hydrangeas and which ones we should prune and which ones not:

  • Old branches : they are the most woody branches that are usually found in the central area of ​​the bush. We must eliminate them completely to prevent them from absorbing nutrients and that this leads to a loss of energy from the rest of the newer branches.
  • Branches of about three years: they are young branches that have grown over six buds. Of these we must eliminate approximately 50%, always favoring the penetration of light throughout the bush. In case these end in flower we will make a cut above the bud.
  • Suckers: they are the youngest branches. They have an elongated stem that always ends in flower. Unlike the other two types of branch, we must not cut them. Suckers promote flowering and rejuvenation of hydrangeas.

How to prune hydrangeas step by step

Knowing all of the above, which is vital for this process, we will explain how to prune hydrangeas step by step correctly :

  1. Prune all old stems and branches. For these types of branches, remember that it is better to use a long-handled scissors. It is recommended that in case of being a young plant some of these stems be left to ensure its attachment to the ground.
  2. Then, select the young branches and always cut above the bud. Try at all times to create an open arrangement of the bush for light to penetrate. Use here a hand scissors to facilitate access to as many branches as possible. Do not forget that reducing the size of the plant will favor its flowering.
  3. Finally, water and fertilize your hydrangea with special fertilizer for them. Hydrangeas are acidic soil plants, so we recommend that you use a low pH substrate and a specific fertilizer for hydrangeas. In addition, in this way, you will get that blue color so representative of these flowers.
How to Prune Hydrangeas - How to Prune Hydrangeas Step by Step

Other tips for pruning hydrangeas

A little trick to never forget when to prune a hydrangea regardless of its type, is to prune just when the last flower fades . The flowers provide protection to the hydrangea during frost, so they are essential to maintain the health of our plant and, therefore, it is convenient to wait until they no longer remain.

In addition, to get good hydrangea cuttings , we must make them just when the flowers begin to harden. For its reproduction by cuttings, we will cut the flowers and leave at least three nodes, eliminating the leaves closest to the base and reducing the remaining ones by half. 

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