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How to Prune Different Hydrangeas in Winter?

Written by Naomi Meza

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Posted on December 21 2023

Pruning and trimming a plant can result in more lush blooms and a healthier plant overall.

Conversely, trimming your plants at the wrong time can have equally devastating results for your otherwise healthy plants.

In this article, we familiarize you with how to prune various types of hydrangeas for winter and why pruning hydrangeas is a great way to keep your hydrangeas healthy.

 

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Pruning New Wood Blooms

New Wood Bloom Hydrangea

Hydrangea shrubs that bloom on new wood can be especially suited to pruning in fall, winter, or early spring.

You can do this with a low risk of losing blooms.

New wood bloomers are easy to identify as they tend to flower in summer or fall.

Examples of new wood blooms include blue mist spirea, beautyberry, and rose of Sharon.

Pruning hydrangeas for winter is done for similar reasons as in other seasons: to promote new growth and maintain the shape of your shrub.

 

Related Post: How to Prune Your Plants for Higher Yields

 

Pruning Old Wood Blooms

Old Wood Bloom Hydrangeas

Simply put, old wood is last year's wood.

Hydrangeas bloom on old wood flowers in late summer on stalks that have been around since last year.

Old wood blooms include mophead, bigleaf, lace cap, and oakleaf varieties.

Oldwood blooms require very little pruning work.

 

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If you must trim, always do this immediately after flowering.

Trim down flowering stems and leave behind a pair of healthy buds.

You can also trim in winter by removing weak or dead stems.

How to Prune Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)

How to prune big leaf hydrangeas

To prune the bigleaf hydrangeas, cut off dead flowers just above the live buds.

Because you do not know what the buds on the stems or tops will become, avoid cutting them.

They may grow to be foliage or flowers.

 

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How to Prune Oak leaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia)

How to prune oak leaf hydrangeas

The oak leaf hydrangea grows on old wood and doesn't need much pruning.

Trimming any dead stems and leaves will do. It is best to do this in early spring.

You can also take this opportunity to trim your hydrangea into a lovely shape if it's overgrown.

 

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How to Prune Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea aborescens)

How to prune smooth hydrangeas

Smooth hydrangeas flower on new wood and should be pruned in early March.

If you don't prune your smooth hydrangeas, you may end up with a top-heavy shrub that flops to the ground mid-season.

To add your hydrangeas vitality, add some water-soluble fertilizers from our shop where you can choose from a large selection of fertilizers sure to meet your hydrangea's needs for beautiful blooms or correcting soil pH to change the color of your petals.

 

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How to Prune Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata)

 

How to prune smooth hydrangeas

The panicle hydrangeas also flower on new wood but do not require the drastic pruning of the smooth hydrangea.

These hydrangeas look best if one-third of the old growth is pruned in late winter.

Be careful not to overdo the trimming because you'll have to eyeball the pruning.

 

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How to Prune Mountain Hydrangeas (Hydrangea serrata)

How to prune mountain hydrangeas

Mountain hydrangeas bloom on both old and new wood.

Because of this, you should avoid pruning them.

These hydrangeas should never be cut or trimmed back except to remove dead wood in the spring.

Removing old, nonproductive stems will improve the plant's habits and increase airflow.

It is worth noting that maintaining good aeration is effective against powdery mildew.

 

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Hydrangea Care and More

Woman holding potted hydrangeas in garden

With your hydrangeas taken care of in winter, you can expect new luscious blooms in spring and summer.

Enjoy your hydrangea gardening this season with top-quality garden fertilizers from our shop and experience brighter, bigger hydrangeas this coming spring season.

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