Pruning hydrangeas

Hydrangeas: characteristics of the plant

All the plants belonging to the genus Hydrangea and to the family Hydrangeaceae are classified under the name «hydrangea»: in this way, both shrubby and climbing species fall into this denomination. Hydrangeas have a woody and robust stem, covered with toothed or lobed leaves, generally opposite and grouped in three for each node. The flowers are grouped in spherical or very similar inflorescences, called panicles or corymbs. In the inflorescences the external flowers are mostly sterile, so they are gradually replaced. The flowers can be of various colors, from white to violet, passing through the different shades of pink, red, blue and mauve. Partly the color depends on the hydrangea species (some varieties have exclusively pink or red flowers),

Hydrangeas: pruning

Hydrangeas are plants that require special care: these include regular pruning, because hydrangeas grow rapidly throughout the year. In fact, it is necessary to give a defined shape to the plants through pruning, to prevent them from invading all the surrounding space, continuing to develop and expand. Warning: remember that hydrangeas must be planted in areas of the garden with a greater presence of shade. Hydrangeas need to be pruned at the point above the duo of new buds (both leaves and flowers). Precisely for this reason it is good that the pruning of hydrangeas takes place in autumn (immediately after the end of flowering), but also at the end of winter (just in early spring, when the buds begin to sprout). However, it must be borne in mind that there are different varieties of hydrangeas (both shrubby and climbing) with different characteristics (in some cases the flowers appear on the branches of the current year, in other cases on those of the previous year). In these cases, obviously, the pruning interventions must be different. Photo source: ideegreen

Hydrangeas: tips for pruning

Let’s now see some useful tips for pruning hydrangeas. First of all, the pruning interventions serve to allow the entire shrub to receive air and light, so that it has a continuous and luxuriant development as a whole. In fact, if pruning is not carried out, only the external branches will receive the right amount of light and air: consequently, the hydrangea (exactly like all woody stem plants) will gradually lose the flowers and leaves in the lower part. . In addition, the flowering may be more lush, but the flowers will have a smaller and weaker appearance. Pruning should only be done when the hydrangea has reached (or exceeded) a height of 20 centimeters in height: otherwise, simply eliminate the weak or dead branches. If the hydrangea blooms on the branches of the previous year, you will have to avoid pruning these branches; in addition, it is also necessary to maintain the branches with where there are buds and young ones. To understand it, just cut the upper branch and check the color of the interior: if it is greenish or white, it must be left, otherwise it must be pruned because it is dry.

Pruning Hydrangeas: When to Prune Hydrangeas

In hydrangeas it is the young branches that make the flowers, so only the branches that are more than 3 years old should be cut (they are those with lateral and sublateral ramifications). The old branches must be cut at a distance of about 25-30 centimeters from the ground, about 2 centimeters above a pair of buds (from this point two new branches will sprout), and the branches that appear twisted up to a height of 2- 3 centimeters from the ground. Also prune 2-year-old branches with only lateral branches. To further strengthen the plant, a radical pruning can be carried out: this, however, entails delays in flowering, which will be even more reduced. Finally, remove all dried flowers and intersecting branches (they prevent the branches inside from receiving air and light). Finally, the cuts will have to be made at the base of the stems:

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