Pruning Hydrangeas In Spring: A Complete Guide

1 min read

How to Prune a Hydrangea in Spring BBC Gardeners World Magazine


Spring is the perfect time to give your hydrangeas some much-needed attention. Pruning these beautiful flowering plants can help promote healthy growth, increase flower production, and maintain their overall shape. In this article, we will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about pruning hydrangeas in spring.

Why should you prune hydrangeas in spring?

Pruning hydrangeas in spring is crucial for their overall health and appearance. It allows you to remove any dead or damaged branches, control the size of the plant, and shape it to your desired form. Additionally, pruning stimulates new growth, which results in more vibrant and abundant blooms during the summer and fall months.

When is the best time to prune hydrangeas?

The timing of pruning hydrangeas depends on the specific variety you have. For most hydrangeas, the ideal time to prune is in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. However, certain varieties, such as the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), are best pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.

How to prune hydrangeas?

Before you start pruning, it’s important to understand the type of hydrangea you have, as different varieties have different pruning requirements. In general, you should begin by removing any dead or damaged branches. Next, you can selectively prune branches to control the size and shape of the plant.

Can you cut hydrangeas to the ground?

While it is generally not recommended to cut hydrangeas to the ground, there are some exceptions. For instance, certain mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) can be cut back to the ground in late winter or early spring to rejuvenate the plant. However, this drastic pruning technique should be avoided for other hydrangea varieties, as it may result in no blooms for that season.

READ ALSO  30+ Spring Decor Ideas 2021

Do all hydrangeas bloom on old wood?

No, not all hydrangeas bloom on old wood. Some varieties, such as the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) and the panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), bloom on new wood. This means that these hydrangeas can be pruned in late winter or early spring without sacrificing the blooms for that year.

What should you do if you prune hydrangeas at the wrong time?

If you accidentally prune your hydrangeas at the wrong time, don’t panic. While it may affect the blooms for that season, most hydrangeas are resilient and will recover. Make sure to provide them with proper care, including regular watering and fertilizing, to help them bounce back.

Can you prune hydrangeas in the summer?

While it is generally not recommended to prune hydrangeas in the summer, there are some exceptions. If you need to trim back overgrown branches or remove dead flowers, you can do so during the summer months. However, avoid heavy pruning during this time, as it may disrupt the plant’s natural growth cycle.


Pruning hydrangeas in spring is an essential task that helps maintain the health, shape, and blooming potential of these beautiful plants. By understanding the specific pruning requirements of your hydrangea variety and following the correct timing and techniques, you can ensure that your hydrangeas thrive and reward you with stunning blooms year after year.