When to prune hydrangea

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by mcat, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. mcat

    mcat Member

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    Abbotsford, BC Canada
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    Hello, i have been trying to figure out when would be the best time to prune our hydrangea plant as it has gotten to the point where it has outgrown the area it's in and is overcrowding the walkway. It is beautiful and full of flowers every year and we always get compliments on it, so i don't want to prune it and kill off next years blooms without first checking to see if there's anyway of saving them. I want to do a fairly hard prune so that it can fill in a bit next year and then can grow for another few years before needing another pruning. I believe it is a Lacecap Hydrangea. I can't seem to get a straight answer as far as timing goes from anywhere on the internet so i'm hoping pictures will help determine the answer. The 3 pics are how it looks right now. I tried to get pics of what may be next years flower bud sets, or whatever they are called. Sorry for the blurriness on a couple of the pictures, i had my camera on the wrong setting and was trying to grab the pics before it got dark...
     

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  2. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

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    The macrophyllas will only flower on the old wood. As long as you cut it back and still leave some growth from this year it will bloom again. If you want to cut it back hard you may lose some blooms for next year. I suggest cutting back now because they form their buds for next year soon. You could always cut half the stems back real hard and leave the rest to flower and then cut the other half back next year. I am surprised your Hydrangea is hardy in Canada. Is yours Blue Billows? They are usually only hardy to zone 6.
     
  3. mcat

    mcat Member

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    Hi levilyla, thanks for the quick reply. I'll probably go prune it sometime today or tomorrow then. It seems to have some branches that are a lot longer than others so at least we'll get a few good blooms next year, also i noticed a lot of new growth this year on the bottom, so hopefully that will bloom next year as well. The last two pictures i took in my first post were of what i thought might be next years buds but wasn't quite sure. Is that what it looks to be?? I'm actually not entirely sure what kind of hydrangea it is. We have 2 other small bushes that started as cuttings from this main one. One is in the back garden and half of it is pink the other half is blue. Both bushes are very healthy and grow like crazy each year. This year was a little hard on the front one due to the weather we had this year, scorched it a bit while we were away and didn't water :( Here are a few pictures of how the big one in the front looks while in bloom. Pic 1 is how it starts out. The flowers that get the most sun (house faces north) seem to be the biggest and most purple, while those with less sun tend to be more blue.
     

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  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Just a refresher for the "Canada is cold" folks. Coastal British Columbia (where Abottsford is) has moderate winters, a characteristic of the PNW climate and is most similar to northwestern Washington state.

    Hydrangea macrophylla will consistently retain woody stems in Canada in only a few areas....coastal British Columbia, extreme southern Ontario (Niagara & Windsor areas), and coastal Nova Scotia (Halifax to Annapolis Royal). The rest of us have to work a little harder at it.
     
  5. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

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    That explains it...thanks.
     

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