How Do You Prune Hydrangeas?


Quick Answer

Prune hydrangeas by starting at the right time of year, removing dead or damaged stems and dead-heading bushes.This process takes only a few minutes. You need a pair of pruning shears and some pruning scissors.

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How Do You Prune Hydrangeas?
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Full Answer

  1. Prune at the right time

    Choose the right time to prune a hydrangea bush. For most types, pruning needs to occur either in late winter or early spring. Only climbing hydrangea bushes should be pruned in the summer.

  2. Remove old stems

    Remove dead, damaged and old stems from the hydrangea bushes to encourage new growth. Find the oldest stems on the plant, and cut away at least one of these at the base of the plant. If the plant needs heavy pruning, cut off all the limbs at the base of the plant. Do not remove all the old stems, as new growth develops off of the old.

  3. Dead-head the bush

    Once the hydrangea flowers begin to fade, dead-head them by cutting off the faded blossoms just underneath the flower heads. For lacecap hydrangeas, remove the heads as far down as the second pair of leaves. Stop dead-heading the plant during the fall so that the flower heads can act as protection against the cold during winter.

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