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Cutting hydrangeas: When is the right time? | > – Guide – Garden

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Cutting hydrangeas: When is the right time?  |  > – Guide – Garden

As of: January 25, 2024 1:51 p.m

When can I cut hydrangeas? Many garden lovers ask themselves this question. The right time and the right amount of pruning depends on the type of hydrangea.

Hydrangeas (Hydrangea) are among the most popular plants. However, many hobby gardeners are unsure whether pruning makes sense in spring or autumn and how far they can prune the plant. In principle, every hydrangea can be heavily pruned. However, incorrect cutting and the wrong time can result in farmer’s hydrangea, for example, producing few or no flowers. Hydrangeas can be divided into two groups when it comes to the correct pruning technique.

How do I cut back hydrangeas?

Country hydrangeas should only be cut back slightly if you want them to bloom the following summer.

Many hydrangea species, including the particularly well-known farmer’s hydrangea, produce their flowers the previous year. The formations of these later shoots can already be clearly seen in winter. With these hydrangeas, only frozen and dead shoots including old inflorescences should be removed. The cut is made below the old flower – directly above the fresh pair of buds.

These cutting rules apply to the following hydrangea species:

Farm hydrangeaClimbing hydrangeaPlate hydrangeaVelvet hydrangeaOak-leaved hydrangea

Prune most hydrangea species in February or March

Depending on the weather, the best time for pruning is early spring, i.e. the end of February or March. If the plant is older and has lost its flowering potential, some older shoots can also be cut off close to the ground. If an older hydrangea needs to be rejuvenated, it is worth radically cutting it back to a hand’s width above the ground. However, according to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, this is only permitted until the end of February.

Generous pruning of panicle hydrangea and forest hydrangea

Panicle hydrangeas can be heavily pruned and are very hardy.

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In contrast to the first group, panicle hydrangeas and forest hydrangeas (also known as snowball hydrangeas) bloom on annual wood. So they form their buds in the year they bloom. Both types of hydrangeas can therefore be cut back heavily; one or two pairs of eyes should remain per shoot. Pruning can be done from autumn, but depending on the weather, the best time is early spring. Important: Be sure to cut before sprouting.

New varieties – simple rules for cutting

For some time now, retailers have been offering new hydrangea varieties that are much easier to prune. These are so-called remontant varieties. These special varieties of farmer’s hydrangeas, for example, bloom not only on the shoots from the previous year, but also on the newly formed ones. They can be cut easily – for example after late night frosts in the year when the flower base has frozen – and still produce many flowers. The new varieties have names such as “Endless Summer”, “Everbloom” and “Diva fiore”.

Further information

Pruning promotes growth and flower formation. When and how are panicle hydrangeas pruned? more

With their pretty umbels, hydrangeas beautify any garden. In order for them to grow well, they need a lot of water. more

There are numerous types of hydrangeas. All are easy to care for and bloom happily. However, there are differences when it comes to pruning. Image gallery

This topic in the program:

NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Garden podcast: All carrots, or what?! | May 10, 2023 | 7:00 p.m

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