It’s been so cold out! But I felt inspired this morning thinking about the months ahead. I’m swooning over here dreaming of daffodils, forsythia, hydrangea, and tulips. When it gets too cold outside and I’m standing in the freezing cold, bundled up in my heavy jacket, I just dream of the warm sunshine and wildflowers. Speaking of spring and summer, today I really wanted to talk about pruning and how it can impact your blooming excess on your plants.
Pruning is one of the most importance tasks you can take care of in your garden. Pruning not only helps with the overall appearance of your plants, but it also helps maintain health and proper structure. There are several different types of pruning (which I won’t get into today – different post, different day). Today I wanted to discuss everyone’s favorite plant – the hydrangea! The hydrangea, no matter the variety or size, is always so graceful and magical; they really bring any size garden to life in the summer.
There are two main types of hydrangeas – ones that bloom on “old wood” and ones that bloom on “new wood”. The differences between the two are that “old wood” is the previous season’s growth, and the “new wood” is the current season’s growth. Examples of each are:
Old wood – Hydrangea quercifolia and Hydrangea macrophylla
New wood – Hydrangea paniculata (pictured) and Hydrangea arborescens
Old and new wood – Endless Summer Hydrangeas
For all hydrangeas, no matter which type they are, it’s important to always remove dead, broken, or crossing branches. Cut these branches all the way to the ground.
For old wood blooming type hydrangeas, they should only be pruned after they bloom in the summer. When pruning, cut back shorter branches to ensure you do not disturb the bud formations. If you are rejuvenation pruning, it is best to not remove more than 1/3 of old wood. Cut these all the way to the ground to allow the plant to maintain its controlled size. It’s really important to not prune these in the fall or winter, as you will remove the buds that cause the plant to produce its flowers.
For new wood blooming type hydrangeas, they can be cut back each year for tons of beautiful blooms in the spring. This does not need to be completed each year, because over time stems and branches will weaken.
Endless Summer Hydrangeas actually bloom on old and new wood! Pruning on these shrubs should be completed after the last bloom in the summer. They should be cut back about half way to control the size.
I really hope everyone is able to identify how to better care for their hydrangea! If you want to add a few hydrangeas to your garden or have questions on pruning, please contact your Landscape Designer for more ideas and details. Also, don’t let the cold weather snow on your parade – think warm thoughts of kayaking in the sunshine and BBQ get-togethers. They’ll be here before you know it. Talk to you soon!
Life’s a garden – dig it!
Photo credit: "Hydrangea paniculata - flower view 01" by Fan Wen - Own work http://www.flowersview.com/Hydrangea-paniculata/DPP_01951.jpg.html. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hydrangea_paniculata_-_flower_view_01.jpg#/media/File:Hydrangea_paniculata_-_flower_view_01.jpg