Q.In Winter/spring, How To Prune My Hydrangea To Bloom Again?
We have a mature hydrangea that has stopped blooming over the last 3 years. We have had new gardeners during this time and I am guessing they are pruning it wrong. This year, I would like to do it differently. The gardeners have been pruning the stems back to the old growth wood joint. I am wondering: 1) if we need to instead leave some of the new growth? (leaving ~ 1 foot of new growth) – or do we prune it back even further closer to the ground? 2) We are in California with mild winters, I am wondering if this pruning should be done in early Spring (~March). Thank you! Celine
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It looks like they have been pruning it the way many people erroneously prune a crape myrtle.
To prune a hydrangea, you need to know the type you have. Anytime you aren't sure, it's best not to prune at all till it is identified.
Hyrangeas bloom on old wood (last year's growth), new wood (new growth on current season), or both. If it blooms on last year's growth, it's best to prune right after flowering so as not to cut off any buds that are forming. If it blooms on current growth, it's fine to cut it back in early spring before new growth starts.
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