Chuck Martin: Pruning hydrangeas

Chuck Martin: Pruning hydrangeas

One of the many things I get criticized for is repeating stories I’ve told before. I have a lot of excuses for this behavior. The first people did not listen to the story the first time. Secondly, my life is not exactly exciting so I only have a limited number of stories. And third, my stories are so good they should be repeated.

The third reason is that I am writing another article about hydrangeas. I’m sure I’ve written articles about hydrangeas before but they are an amazing collection of plants. If you haven’t noticed they are blooming now and will continue their outstanding flower display into the fall. I must bore you again with talk of growing these wonderful plants.
A question often asked is when to prune hydrangeas. To answer the question, you must know the type of hydrangea. In Central Michigan, we are able to grow six species of hydrangea.
Large-leaved varieties (H. Macrophylla) are distinguished by their large, blue or pink flower heads. Plants in Michigan often grow without flowering. Flower buds are produced in late summer for flowering the following growing season. The flower buds are not very tolerant of cold winters and are often killed. The vegetative shoots are very hardy and therefore the plants grow beautifully without flowers.

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