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Hydrangea Plants

Q.How Do I Prune Hydrangea Plants?

Zone Santa Maria, CA | Anonymous added on November 19, 2020 | Answered

I need to know how to prune my White Hydrangea plants. Should I leave several leaf nodes for next year’s growth? Or should I have them be 8-12 inches tall? The leaves have turned yellow or red. I live in Santa Maria, California, and we have not had rain since May 26. They are on irrigation, though.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 20, 2020

It depends on the type of hydrangea you have. Since it's white, I'm guessing it's not the macrophylla with the big round heads, which is usually pink or blue and bloom on the old wood, or the previous season's growth. If you have paniculata or arborescens, which bloom on new wood or the current season's growth, they can be pruned in late winter or early spring.

Oakleaf hydrangea, with elongated white flower heads, also blooms on old wood and does not need to be pruned.

If in doubt about what kind you have, don't prune them. You can deadhead at any time, but don't prune too far back or you may remove developing buds (if yours blooms on old wood.)

Here are two fact sheets with pruning instructions.



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