March UK, Frosts over. Dead heading (flowers) no problem. It’s the stalks with no flowers on in Feb. But have large healthy buds on the very tip of the stem plus most of the way down. 1.Can these also be pruned back, if so when is the best time. 2. How can I distinguished between a leaf and flower bud. Thanks
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The flower buds will be on the ends of the stems (terminal buds) or on separate flower stalks. They are plumper than leaf buds, which are more pointed. If you have a bigleaf hydrangea, it forms flower buds on the previous season's growth (old wood), so do not cut those off or you will lose your blooms. Prune those after flowering. Here is a good guide. If you don't know the type of hydrangea you have, it's best not to prune. Wait to see when the shrub blooms, spring vs summer, which will tell you when to prune.