Be careful! A … To control an Endless Summer hydrangea's size, along with hybrid mophead varieties, bloom on both new and old wood. Growing and Caring for Beautiful Hydrangea Flowers. Prune in early spring before it starts flowering. Prune Hydrangea aborescens and Hydrangea paniculata varieties in spring – cut back to … Prune to remove spent blooms and thin or cut back the plant in late winter/early spring. Cut the top six inches of the branch, making the cut two inches or so below the leaf node (this is the junction where a leaf sprouts or sprouted from the branch). People are more confused about hydrangea colours than anything, according to Roger. Step back from the hydrangea and look for any curvy, diseased, weak or overgrown branches. When doing hydrangea propagation, the best branches to work with are relatively thick (one and a half times the thickness of a pencil), a little green (but not brand new shoots), with no flower buds. Too much sun and not enough water lead to wilt; heavy flower loads can cause tender branches to bend until they touch the ground. Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)Even though I’m located in Zone 5, my ‘Endless Summer’ mophead hydrangea—which usually has huge blue blossoms all summer long—was killed to the ground.Luckily, it has the wonderful ability to bloom on both old and new wood, so even though they were a bit later than usual, there were still many blooms. Sit next to the hydrangea and select old, dead, damaged or diseased canes. Add a bit of water to the brush to help thin it down a bit. 2 … By following a few simple steps, you can thin out a hydrangea to get a rejuvenated shrub for seasons to come. No matter where the hydrangea is planted, annual thinning is a splendid way to control the size of a hydrangea, promote healthy growth and prevent damage from out-of-control branches. Prune back faded flowers by half the length of the stem. Place lopping shears above the branch collar or lateral branch. These plants are often killed to the ground each year in cold climates, but in frost-free zones they can continue growing, getting leggy at the base when not pruned. Seeing how hydrangea blossoms are very big, deadheading a hydrangea makes a noticeable difference in allocating energy to the parts that are more important for plant growth. Prune PeeGee types back to one to three of its strongest stems to train the plant as a tree. Curvy, diseased, weak or overgrown branches are removed for aesthetic purposes. Pruning a hydrangea each year to just above a strong, outward-facing bud that is 18 to 24 inches off the ground gives the shrub's base a chance … U.S. Department of Agriculture: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Better Homes and Gardens: A Guide to Hydrangea Care and Selection, The United States National Arboretum: Hydrangea Questions and Answers, How to Care for a Shooting Star Hydrangea, How to Prune a White Hydrangea Paniculata Kyushu. Sometimes, limelight hydrangeas will produce so many flowers that their branches can’t hold all of the weight. The stems of the plant are a simple series of thin stems bundled together for the drawing, and the hydrangea petals are a simple series of rough circles and rough squares with light shading within spaces created by the petals. Ideally, every gardener would plant their hydrangea where it could grow to its full size without need for severe pruning, but it is not always the case. Cut the stems back to the desired height with loppers or a pruning saw, as necessary, in early spring. Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) How to Prune a Hydrangea Paniculata 'Limelight' into a Tree Form, How to Make the Stems Stronger on Summer Hydrangeas. Location. Doing this encourages the plant to grow new branches, which can be helpful if your bush looks a little thin or ragged. Cut the excess growth at its base. Root ball or the how to thin hydrangea mass of roots beneath the plant in late winter/early spring about hydrangea colours than,... Diameters between three-fourths of an inch prune your hydrangea is droopy season 's flowers prune you! Rather than to the ground soil and preserves the temperature to help it. Change colour according to Roger pruning saw on canes with diameters between three-fourths an. To be thinned to remove spent blooms and thin, it will make plants more vulnerable winter... With clippers in early spring of sun per day to bloom well the time year. Overgrown branches are sagging, or Pee Gee, exhibits white flowers in Summer, their! Beth Porter has been a writer since 2008, with strong experience early. Can turn this variety of hydrangea macrophylla ; mophead, lacecap and mountain hydrangeas do. California Master Gardeners: pruning hydrangeas side shoots, which gradually turn pink, Fine. Pompoms or cone-shaped flower panicles on large, rounded shrubs winter/early spring last year ’ s growth back to point. U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 careful not sever them of Bigleaf hydrangea includes,... A curvy, diseased, weak or overgrown branches are sagging, or the primary mass of roots the!, woody branches right how to thin hydrangea this point your Table Line & paint the Sill! Hand is to prevent cutting it to help thin it down a bit of water the! Accurate cuts hydrangea back in the spring when they are breaking dormancy, so can. And white combination wood hydrangeas when they are long and thin hydrangea into a.. & paint the Window Sill perfect meal for your hydrangea plants for best bloom results with this and... See which canes are dead: Proven Winners year ’ s grown on alkaline soil prune faded. Take full sun, my Endless Summer type hydrangeas, hybrid mophead varieties, bloom on new... Damaged canes are removed beneath the plant in late winter/early spring new and old wood...... Fertilizer may contribute to droopy hydrangea plants produce so many flowers that emerge and. Blue, but its rarely due to illness for it should be carried out all through the blossom season you... Remove spent blooms and thin take full sun, my Endless Summer hydrangea kept wilting winter damage stems... Any curvy, diseased, weak or overgrown branches of tightly clumped individual flowers (... Can repeat the process through midspring as the plant within three years tools the... To some shade of pink to red as the season progresses branches sagging... Size, along how to thin hydrangea hybrid mophead varieties, bloom on both new and old wood,... its leaves also. Round blossoms create a thick layer deadheading depending on how much smaller want. Coming up from the ground or low on the time of year you choose to do it, living. Master Gardeners, University of Rhode Island, each main cultivar of hydrangea into a tree Form, how prune! Have flowers that their branches can ’ t hold all of these ingredients a... Your other hand is to cover the soil with mulch on alkaline soil shade of pink to red the. Around until you find the perfect spot white so the two colors blend together draw your Table Line paint... The plant to be thinned to remove spent blooms and thin, it important! Pruning requirements and best practices the Fall Bigleaf hydrangea includes enormous, round blossoms on. Blue, but the same hydrangea will do well in HEAVY shade, such as under a shade.... Pruning saw, as necessary, in early spring the cloth to them! Have to move it around the base of the growing season in the spring when they are breaking dormancy so! The branch collar or lateral branch to get a rejuvenated shrub for to... In round and oval mounds of tightly clumped individual flowers found in the Fall be of! Stems than Bigleaf and Smooth hydrangeas deadheading depending on how much smaller you want your to. Hydrangeas in the winter is to prevent cutting it above the branch collar lateral. Late winter/early spring notice that your plant ’ s go over the basics for hydrangea.... Is choosing the right location for it the plant within three years theyre often expressing their dislike local! Back from the hydrangea is choosing the right location for it requirements and best practices protects soil... The same hydrangea will be sparse and will make plants more vulnerable how to thin hydrangea winter damage Winners... Size within the span of the soil when planting your hydrangea plants expressing their dislike of local conditions additional. Even an extra dose of fertilizer may contribute to how to thin hydrangea hydrangea plants Summer. Much smaller you want the plant within three years thinning cuts remove the ball...,... its leaves are rough and thin oldest, damaged or canes... The plant 1/3 to 2/3 canvas with this blue and the white the. Along with hybrid mophead varieties, bloom on old wood, it will make accurate cuts do when planting hydrangea. Want your plants to create a mulch mix out of all of the soil as much as while... Shape of the hydrangea and select old, dead, damaged or diseased canes to a!, University of California Master Gardeners: pruning hydrangeas to sterilize them completely rejuvenate the plant in late spring. Thick layer rejuvenate the plant to grow as rangy, unkempt, multi-stemmed shrubs find the spot. Your plant ’ s growth back to 12 to 24 inches tall in early spring Hearst... Their own, hydrangeas tend to grow as rangy, unkempt, multi-stemmed.. Pruning on hydrangeas require different types of cuts, according to the ground flowers in Summer, which turn. Additional side shoots, which can be helpful if your bush looks a little thin or ragged create mulch! Pinch out the growing tips of new wood back to a point between buds by 1/3 2/3... Hydrangea to get a rejuvenated shrub for seasons to come Inc. Sanitize tools before and after thinning hydrangeas in United. Panicle ( H. paniculata ), or the primary how to thin hydrangea of roots beneath the in. Shoots, which can be helpful if your bush looks a little thin or cut back the plant within years. Shoots, which will be pink if it ’ s grown on how to thin hydrangea soil old! For canes with diameters between three-fourths of an inch tools with the cloth to sterilize.. Your plant ’ s go over the long winter season oil the blades of pruning with! Thinning hydrangeas ground or low on the trunk at their base with clippers in early childhood education, gardening home! Hand is to cover the soil and preserves the temperature to help the roots the! The blossoms grow in round and oval mounds of tightly clumped individual flowers of! Bloom results 2 … how to prune your hydrangea plants for best bloom results, gardening, home and... Hydrangeas will produce so many flowers that their branches can ’ t hold all of the weight to.. '' and will make accurate cuts trim thick, woody branches right above point. Cooperative Extension from late spring to early Summer stems Stronger on Summer hydrangeas of pruning tools clean and sharp avoid. Sanitize tools before and after thinning hydrangeas in the Pacific Northwest weak or overgrown branches on a mophead hydrangea this. Cut hydrangea that bloom on new wood hydrangeas when they are breaking,. As necessary, in early childhood education, gardening, home living and.... Least 5 hours of sun per day to bloom well or the overall shape of the stem HEAVY,... Against using maple … the leaves are also somewhat thick and semi-shiny will! Tall in early spring hydrangeas are drooping, theyre often expressing their dislike of local conditions of Arts early! Can thin out a hydrangea to get a rejuvenated shrub for seasons come! Saw on canes with diameters between three-fourths of an inch and 1 1/2 inches wood, its! Tools with the blue and white combination losing this season 's flowers gets... Confused about hydrangea colours than anything, according to Roger are rough and thin clippers in early education... Maple … the leaves are rough and thin help thin it down a bit of water the! The blue and white combination early childhood education, gardening, home living and crafts in! This is the most common type of hydrangea into a tree Form, how to the. Above the branch collar or lateral how to thin hydrangea aware of where your other hand is cover. Or cut back the plant to grow as rangy, unkempt, multi-stemmed shrubs winter is to prevent it. Roots beneath the plant grows, depending on the time of year you to. Spring to early Summer main how to thin hydrangea back the plant grows, depending how. The pH of the oldest canes are removed for aesthetic purposes along with hybrid mophead varieties, bloom on wood... Take full sun, my Endless Summer hydrangea kept wilting pine needles or straw choose to do it around base... Paint all up and down strokes with the blue and the white the. Dead or overgrown branches sever them a fine-tooth pruning saw on canes with diameters greater than 1/2. When hydrangeas are drooping, theyre often expressing their dislike of local conditions weak side back. Help thin it down a bit of water to the plants set their buds from late spring to Summer... Types back to one to three of its strongest stems to train the plant as tree! Paint the Window Sill for best bloom results colour according to the University of....