Pruning Hydrangeas

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chokkie | 19:11 Mon 16th Feb 2015 | Gardening
11 Answers
We have two large hydrangeas in our back garden and I didn't dead-head them because I read somewhere that you shouldn't do because the dead foliage/branches protect all the new growth. There was also still a bit of colour in the dead heads, so it was nice to have during the miserable winter months. Now the dead flower heads are completely colour-less. Do you recommend dead-heading the hydrangeas now - there is a little bit of green growth underneath ...? Would appreciate some advice, please.

Many thanks, Chox.


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it depends where in the country you live. I leave mine until the risk of frost is passed.
-- answer removed --
I would normally be looking at cutting mine back about now (they are fairly tough), but due to imminent house-move they are being neglected this year! Cut back to a nice out-facing bud about a foot; I inherited neglected hydrangeas and they survived this 'tender' treatment. Bonne chance!
If you want them to get much larger prune back to the first pair of buds below the dead foliage, To keep them a similar size prune back to the lowest pair of buds.
^^^ I meant 'about a foot below the height you eventually wish' - it disappeared.
What you remember reading Chokkie, was good advice.

Personally, I would resist the temptation to prune those dead heads to March and only then, if all danger of frost has past.

Any thin weak looking branches can be cut down at the same time.
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Many thanks for your help and suggestions, folks. Will leave doing anything about the hydrangeas until March - it's only another few weeks after all - and even though the dead heads are pretty colourless, they still bring some brightness to the garden. Appreciate your help, though. Cheers, Chox.
I usually do mine at Easter, and I cut them to a foot off the ground - they spring back up to about four feet high by the summer.
Too early up here..end of March for me
I live on the south coast and I do mine mid to late March
I cut mine (quite mercilessly too) in September
They seem to be budding ok
I live in the North too;-))

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Pruning Hydrangeas

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