Trees and shrubs

Pruning hydrangeas, what you need to know


Hydrangea is a beautiful flowering shrub, the size of which helps improve flowering and plant health.

Pruning a hydrangea is easy to do, but there are a few rules to follow to put the odds in your favor!

Follow our tips for having beautiful hydrangeas year after year:

  • Also read: all the articles on hydrangeas

When to prune a hydrangea

For the ideal hydrangea pruning period, two seasons are important, autumn and the end of winter.

  • From fall:

You can start by removing dead wood and faded flowers.

Indeed, at the end of flowering, it is no need to keep faded flowers but it is still too early to really cut the hydrangea.

Winter can be cold and if you cut your hydrangea too much before winter, it could suffer from periods of frost.
So just refresh your hydrangeas by removing faded flowers at their base.

  • At the end of winter:

Ideally during the last 2 weeks of February or the first 2 weeks of weeks of March.

You will perform a larger size than the one carried out in the fall, it willimprove flowering.

  • In regards to the climbing hydrangea, no pruning is necessary.

Hydrangea pruning and flowering

Flowers grow on wood from the previous year, so it is important not to cut it.

  • If you prune your shrub from more than 30 cm, you may not not have flowers.
  • Trim just above the first pair of buds starting from the top.
    It goes back from the end of the branch and down to the first pair of buds. Size about 1 or 2 cm above
  • Remove the dead wood and the few stems that you consider "weak"
  • Delete the 2 or 3 older branches at the level of the foot.
    We spot them because they are much bigger than the others and often very brittle.
  • Air the center of the shrub to let in as much light as possible.
  • Repeat the operation every year.

To have a spectacular bloom, it is also possible to put hydrangea fertilizer.

  • Also read: all the articles on hydrangeas

What happens if I don't prune my hydrangeas?

To be honest, not much. The flowering will only be more abundant but the flowers will be less beautiful and imposing.

Here are the advice of Hubert Buquet, Head gardener of the Valloires gardens:

Gardener's advice

Flowers grow on the stems that grew the previous year.

This means that if you cut back everything that grew last year, no flowers will appear.


Read also on pruning and hydrangeas:

  • Cultivation of hydrangeas
  • The different sizes in detail: shrubs, roses, hedges, etc.
  • The climbing hydrangea, the best solution for your walls in the shade and partial shade

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Video: Hydrangea Care Old and New Growth (October 2020).