Flower Guides

How To Prune Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are easy to grow, but they do need some pruning. When you prune hydrangea plants, you can keep them healthy and looking great. You may want to prune your hydrangea for a variety of reasons.

How To Prune Hydrangea

Here is the complete process explained in detail on how to prune hydrangea:

1. Cut out dead or diseased wood.

Use pruning shears to cut out dead wood and damaged branches that are close to the ground. You don’t need to worry about removing all of the dead wood, just remove any branches that are touching the ground or crossing other branches.

2. Remove cross branches.

Hydrangea bushes can grow very tall and have a tendency to get leggy over time, so it’s important to keep them trimmed back occasionally so they stay dense and bushy.

Look for branches that are growing straight up from the plant instead of towards the center of it, then use pruning shears to cut them off at a point where they’re about 4 inches away from another branch on the plant. This will force new growth to develop lower on the bush, keeping it shorter and denser than before.

3. Remove suckers from around the base of your hydrangea bush .

These are shoots that grow out from the rootstock and should be removed as soon as they appear so they don’t take energy away from the rest of the plant. Use pruning shears to cut them off at ground level.

4. Thin out stems so they’re spaced 6 inches apart .

This will give your hydrangea room to grow and help prevent disease problems in future years by allowing air circulation around all parts of the plant. It will also help you see where new growth is developing so you’ll know where to cut back in step 5 below .

Tips for How To Prune Hydrangea

Here are 5 things to take care of with respect to how to prune hydrangea:

1. Hydrangeas should be pruned in the fall. The exception to this rule is if you have a hydrangea that blooms on old wood, which means it doesn’t bloom on new wood. If your hydrangea blooms on old wood, you can prune it anytime between April and October.

2. Prune the deadwood off of your hydrangea first. This will help reduce the amount of time that you spend pruning your hydrangea because you won’t have to cut around dead stems or branches later on! You may want to make a list of what needs to be pruned so that you don’t forget anything!

3. Prune the top part of your hydrangea next, removing any branches that are crossing over one another or growing in an odd direction.

4. Next, prune off any branches from the bottom half of your hydrangea so that they match up with their corresponding branches from the top half of your plant.

5. Lastly, remove any suckers (shoots) coming out from the base of your plant as well as any flower buds that are not needed for future blooming flowers by cutting them off at their base with sharp garden shears or scissors. The goal is to create a balanced shape for your plant so that it doesn’t get lopsided or tip over!

Interesting Facts About Hydrangea

Here are 5 things you should know about hydrangea:

1. Hydrangea is a genus of flowering plants in the family Hydrangeaceae, native to Japan, China and other areas of eastern Asia. There are about 50 species and thousands of cultivars.

2. The hydrangea flower is a form of inflorescence known as a cyme. A cyme is a type of inflorescence where flowers originate from multiple points on an axis, called the rachis (or peduncle). A cyme can be simple (called an umbel) or branched; if branched it can be either compound (cymose) or panicle-like (paniculate).

3. The name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydrangos” meaning water vessel because the shape of the tubular corollas resembled vases used to carry water by the Greeks and Romans. In Greek mythology, Hera received flowers from Hephaestus that had been created by his apprentice Hylas using water drawn from a well in Hades; this explains why they were called hydraogea by Pliny.

4. The leaves are opposite, simple ovate-lanceolate, 4–10 cm long and 2–6 cm broad with an entire margin; they are often lobed at the base and apex, usually more so toward the base than the apex.


Hydrangeas should be pruned before or after flowering. Pruning after flowering will result in a bushier plant with more flowers. However, pruning before flowering will encourage new growth and lead to larger, more spectacular blooms.

How do you prune hydrangeas?

You can cut back the old stems of your hydrangea by one-third to one-half after it has finished blooming for the season. This will encourage new growth and help the plant become bushier and fuller. If you are cutting back your hydrangea before it begins flowering, be sure to remove any dead wood as well as weak, spindly branches. You can also rejuvenate an older shrub by cutting it down to about 18 inches tall and allowing it to re-grow from there.

Pruning a hydrangea is not very difficult. You can prune it in the spring, summer or fall. When pruning, you should remove dead wood, branches that cross each other and any branches that are growing into the center of the plant. Cut back branches to the desired height and shape. Remove suckers from the base of the plant to keep it from becoming too large.

I’ve seen this question asked a lot. The answer is yes, you should cut off the dead blooms. If you don’t, they will continue to grow and take nutrients away from the plant. You can also remove the dead blooms with your fingers.

When do you fertilize hydrangeas?

You should fertilize hydrangeas in early spring, midsummer and late fall. Use a water soluble fertilizer at each application. Follow package directions for how much to use and how often to apply it.

Over time, hydrangeas will begin to lose their color. The flowers may be smaller and the blooms may not last as long. You can also expect to see fewer flowers each year.

What is the best way to cut back hydrangeas?

In most cases, you should cut back hydrangeas in late winter or early spring when they are dormant. If you wait too long into spring, you risk damaging the new growth that emerges after pruning.

Roses are another common plant that people tend to over-prune. Learn more about how to prune roses here!