A first pruning mistake that can destroy your hydrangeas this fall

A first pruning mistake that can destroy your hydrangeas this fall

If you have a garden, you’ll know that fall is prime pruning season.

Whether you’re deadheading your roses or trimming your hedges (hopefully not too far!), ’tis the season to decapitate a lot of unsuspecting plants – they’ll be grateful for it one day.

But not all plants can or should tolerate this treatment. Ivy, for example, benefits wildlife much more if left untrimmed in winter; While cutting evergreen plants and shrubs in winter can cause permanent damage.

It turns out that when it comes to pruning, not all hydrangeas are created equal—old wood and new wood hydrangeas require completely different pruning practices.

So, we thought of explaining the difference between the two, how to spot them, and what to do for both.

It’s all about the flowery windows

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood “establish their flower buds for the following year shortly after they have finished blooming during the current year. In other words, the flowers are established on wood that is at least one year old,” experts say.

So, if yours bloomed last season, you probably have old wood.

They cannot be pruned and should be left alone until spring, because because they bloom so early in the spring, they need to form their buds in the fall before the cold weather sets in.

This means that if you cut their buds now, they won’t have a chance to sprout again – it will be very cold and miserable.

“They simply won’t have time to regrow before the short days and cold weather arrive,” say the professionals at Hydrangea.com. So, cutting the spring buds now will ensure there will be no flowers next year.

On the other hand, new woody hydrangea shoots grow in the spring. They’re not finished yet – so it’s a good idea to prune new woody hydrangea plants in the fall, when there are no blooms to damage.

How can I tell the difference?

There are two ways. First, you can find out when your plant blooms – in general, the earlier in the spring a hydrangea grows buds and flowers, the more likely it is to be an old, woody plant.

If your hydrangeas bloom for about nine months of the year versus a shorter period of two to six months, you are also likely dealing with old wood.

Some hydrangeas will always thrive on old or new wood. Hydrangea clusters, soft hydrangeas, and broken hydrangeas on new wood; While large-leaf hydrangea, mountain hydrangea, cascading hydrangea, climbing hydrangea, and oak-leaf hydrangea are old woody flowers.

If in doubt, don’t prune. Although pruning can prevent woody plants, it is not necessary for your plant’s survival; Accidentally cutting a developing bud can be devastating.

    (Tags for translation) Home and Garden 

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