My landscaper pruned my hydrangea's early spring with a lot of the branches pruned about 6-8" from the ground. Last year there were filled with lots of blooms but this year only about 3 blooms per plant. It looks like they thinned a lot of the branches from each hydrangea plant & have not filled out like they should have. What did these so called professionals do? Will they fill out next year & produce more blooms? I know there is dead wood & last years wood but I'm not sure what wood they pruned. All I know is that they are in really rough shape. They are really small now. I've had a lot of these hydrangea's for at least 5 years. I wonder if they'll ever look like there supposed to. I'm hoping you can advise me as what to do besides firing the landscaper.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately, the landscaper seems to have pruned your hydrangeas at the wrong time of year, and also probably pruned too harshly.
Only 1/3 of a hydrangea's branches should be removed at once. Some types of hydrangeas bloom on old wood (that grew the year before), and should be pruned in the summer before August begins. Others bloom on new wood (that grew earlier that same season) and should be pruned only after blooming in summer or fall. You probably have one of the second type, and the landscaper probably removed the branches that were getting ready to bloom.
Fortunately, your plants will likely recover and bloom again next year. See these guides to pruning: