Pruning Annabelle Hydrangea

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by kevind76, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    What is the best time to prune an Annabelle Hydrangea in my area, and how do I do it? Cut it back right to the ground? Some say to leave some of the old growth, so the new growth is sturdier.
     
  2. ian66

    ian66 Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guelph Canada
    You can prune back your Annabelles in the fall or early spring. I prefer the fall. You should leave about 3 to 4 inches or so of old wood because that is where most of the new (flowering) growth buds will occur in the spring.

    Ian
     
  3. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Thanks. So pruning right to the ground is not good then? Does it matter that in the fall, you can't see where the new buds will be, but in the spring you can? You are in a warmer zone than me - will that matter?
     
  4. ian66

    ian66 Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guelph Canada
    No, do not prune right at ground level. Leave 3 to 4 inches of the old stalks. I am in zone 5 (Annebelles are rated zone 3) and cut my hydrangea in the fall so that the snow doesn't make a broken, tangled mess of the canes that make it more difficult to prune in the spring. My Annebelle shrub area is very large. You can see where new "bud breaks" on the canes in the fall, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Ian
     
  5. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Will do. Thanks again. How about keeping them semi-upright? The kind of look messy and floppy. I have 3 together. Maybe the pruning will help for next year.
     
  6. ian66

    ian66 Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guelph Canada
    Annebelles tend to flop over mainly due to their large flower heads (especially after a rain). You may have to stake and tie them.

    Ian
     
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    I wait until spring, for the same reason you've mentioned. I like to get a look at how far up the stems the vigorous new buds are appearing. (There will often be some little buds all the way up to the top, but these won't produce much in the way of new growth, and sometimes the upper parts of the stem, which grew late in the season, are weak and die back on their own anyway). I'm trying to encourage this plant to grow into a large, rounded bush (as opposed to pruning it into a tree shape) to form part of an informal mixed hedge, so I don't like to cut it back too severely.

    The reasons for fall pruning are also valid, so I guess it's a matter of personal choice.
     
  8. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Thanks for the help. I think the problem with the form, was that I didn't prune last year, and buds grew all the ways up the old canes, so it got to be a bit of a mess. I think I'll clean it up a bit in the fall (cut the flower heads off, etc.), and do the real pruning in the spring, when I can see the new buds.
     

Share This Page