Jun
19
2021

Monty Don shares his top tips for pruning hydrangeas in the spring

Many gardeners admit playing a guessing game when pruning hydrangeas – flipping here and there and hoping for the best.

But there is a trick to pruning hydrangeas in the spring, says Monty Don – and not all hydrangea species should be treated the same. Regular cutting encourages new, vigorous growth for a more beautiful display. So if you want to know how to grow hydrangeas successful, read on.

“Two questions I am often asked are: When do I cut hydrangeas? And why don’t mine bloom? The two are connected, ”explains the gardening guru on a Gardening world Video.

When pruning hydrangeas, not all of them can be treated equally – and this is the crux of the matter.

If you have a hydrangea and aren’t sure what type it is, Monty has a top trick:

“Now, in the spring, can you just get rid of it and don’t prune it and it won’t hurt. If you see flowers on the new growth that weren’t there last year, then you know you can prune it harder next year. ‘

However, if you can identify it, you will be more successful with your flowers.

Mophead hydrangeas are one of the most common varieties in gardens, along with Hydrangeas with lace caps, and they can both be treated equally.

“Mophead and lacecap hydrangeas produce flowers on older wood. So don’t prune them hard, especially not before this time of year, ”advises Monty Don.

plum Paniculata hydrangeas also in spring, “but these produce flowers when they grow again and must therefore be treated a little differently,” adds Monty.

See: Monty Don Reveals the 5 Plants You Should Be Pruning Now

Cut hydrangeas in spring

With Mophead hydrangeas, let the old flowers stand for the winter – this provides some frost protection for the tender buds underneath – and then core them in April.

“Cut them back to just over a few buds, no more than an inch or two below the flower head. That’s all you have to do, ”advises the BBC Gardening world Moderator.

Carefully cut with the tips of your secateurs. If the plant has many stems, cut diagonally between the buds to remove one of the two that directs growth into one shoot.

With heavily overgrown bushes, you can take the largest stems down to the ground to reshape the plant, he adds.

How to grow hydrangea aspera

clipping paniculata hydrangeas and aborescens hydrangeas, however, is a little different.

As you leave these hydrangeas they will get taller and taller and the flowers will only grow at the top.

“You have to develop a frame that can be used to create new wood,” advises Monty and shows how to cut the stems to get a nice shape.

Cut back over a pair of buds on each stem to create a healthy frame that is between 30 and 60 cm high.

See: How to grow dahlias – a step-by-step guide on how to grow dahlias from tubers

Prune hydrangeas in spring for best blooms

  • Hydrangea serrata can be pruned like mophead hydrangeas
  • Hydrangea aspera and Hydrangea quercifolia only need a slight pruning in spring to remove long stems
  • Climbing hydrangeas should only be cut in summer