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How to cut hydrangea blooms

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If you’re wondering how to deadhead hydrangea bushes, you’re not alone. Most gardeners know that they’re supposed to deadhead their flowering shrubs, yet many forgo this step simply because they aren’t sure how, why, or when.

Here are some tips that will help you deadhead your hydrangea plants perfectly each time – so that you can enjoy more beautiful blooms as the season wears on.

Do You Cut Off Dead Hydrangea Blooms? Yes – Here’s Why!

Deadheading hydrangeas is important for a variety of reasons – but first, what exactly is “deadheading”?

This term simply refers to removing spent blooms from a plant once they have started to die back. When you deadhead (despite the macabre-sounding name), you aren’t harming the plant at all. Instead, you are triggering the flowering shrub to stop producing seeds and to put its energy toward the development of foliage and roots.

By deadheading your flowers, you’ll not only be tidying up its overall appearance, but you’ll be doing it a serious favor, too. A deadheaded plant will grow better, be more attractive, and be healthier overall.

Deadheading is recommended throughout the growing season, but you can stop at the end of fall. Leaving flowers on your plant will provide winter interest and ensure the health of your plant.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

How to Deadhead Hydrangeas

How you deadhead your hydrangeas will depend primarily on which varieties you are growing.

Panicle hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata, should have their stems pruned back to a fat bud in the fall, spring, or late winter.

Bigleaf hydrangeas, or Hydrangea macrophylla, form flower buds in the late summer. Therefore, you will want to prune and deadhead sometime before August.

We’ll go more into more detail on the differences in deadheading and pruning these kinds of hydrangeas below.

Regardless of when you conduct a thorough pruning session, deadheading can be done (for the most part) at any time. If you’re strolling by your hydrangea and happen to notice any faded or dead blooms, simply clip them off.

You can also deadhead when you cut back blooms for flower arrangements. Cut all the way to the axle of the leaves for the best results.

If you’re deadheading after August, try to remove them with a short stem, leaving as much stem on the plant as possible. This will prevent you from disturbing any developing buds.

Before you deadhead, wipe down your pruner blades with a bit of alcohol. This will ensure that you don’t spread disease among your plants. Just remove each spent bloom, following down its stem to the next set of large leaves. That’s where you will make your cut.

When Should You Deadhead Hydrangeas?

How do you know the best time to deadhead? For starters, consider the type that you are growing. Some hydrangeas, including big leaf, lacecap, mophead, and oakleaf varieties, produce blooms on old wood. This means that the wood formed in the summer before the current growing season.

Other varieties flower on new wood, which was formed during the current season. More varieties produce on old wood than on new wood – the only ones that bloom on new wood are ‘Annabelle,’ ‘PeeGee’ types. ‘Endless Summer’ is a variety that produces both old and new wood and will grow flowers all summer.

For plants that produce growth on new wood only, it’s important that you deadhead at the end of the fall, going into the winter. You can also conduct a more intensive pruning, cutting all the way to the ground, if desired.

If you’re pruning plants that bloom on old growth, don’t do so in the late summer or fall. This will reduce the number of blooms you have the following year.

However, you can deadhead at any time, for the most part. You can deadhead your hydrangeas whenever the blooms have faded but you should stop all deadheading (for any type of plant) in the late fall. Leave spent blooms in place to provide winter interest.

Do You Deadhead Hydrangeas in Summer?

In most cases, you can deadhead hydrangeas in the summer, but it’s important to pay attention to the specific type and cultivar you are growing to be sure.

Some varieties, like ‘Endless Summer’ should be deadheaded even earlier than summer (generally in the late spring). Others benefit from deadheading long into the fall.

Where Do You Cut Brown Hydrangea Blooms?

Knowing exactly where to cut your hydrangeas is vital. Cut just above the first set of leaves beneath the flower.

That way, you’ll be getting rid of the faded flowers so that you can showcase a better-looking set of healthy leaves. Avoid removing large portions of stems on bigleaf types of hydrangeas, instead just taking small cuttings here and there.

As you can see, deadheading hydrangeas is a simple, straightforward process that will allow you to enjoy continuous blooms for weeks on end! Follow these tips for success each and every time.

So what exactly should you do with your hydrangeas after they bloom? Is it okay to prune them? Should you be deadheading the spent blooms?

Those questions are two of the most popular about hydrangeas that come to us every summer. And with very good reason.

The simple truth is, how you care for your hydrangeas in the summer can make a big difference in both the overall health of your plant, and how they will bloom and perform next year as well.

To help answer all of those questions and more, today’s article is all about summer hydrangea care. Both while they are blooming, and after they finish their bloom cycle as well.

Hydrangeas Booming In Popularity

Hydrangeas are more popular than ever now. Especially with all of the amazing new varieties and hybrids being developed each year. In fact, the selection is almost overwhelming!

From big leaf bushes that produce enormous flowering globes (often called mopheads), to more subtle blooming varieties such as Oakleaf with their stacked stem blooms, there is a style to fit any landscape and need.

But they all require a bit of care now and then to keep them blooming strong. Especially while they are in bloom – and even more, right after they complete their bloom cycle.

What To Do With Hydrangeas – Before & After Blooming

Hydrangea Care – The Importance of Deadheading

When hydrangeas begin to flower, deadheading spent or fading blooms can have several advantages for your plants. Deadheading is the practice of snipping or cutting off old blooms as they begin to die off.

First and foremost, the practice of deadheading certainly keeps your plants looking fresh and alive. But the benefits go far beyond just aesthetics.

How to cut hydrangea blooms As hydrangea blooms begin to fade, they continue to take energy from the plant. Energy that the plant could and should be using to fill out oncoming blooms, as well as feeding and storing power in it’s roots.

Removing fading flowers also allows the plant to conserve its resources for the remaining blooms to come. Unfortunately, as long as a flower remains in tact to the main plant, it continues to use energy.

It does this in an attempt to heal and keep it fresh and alive. But as the flower continues to die off, the plant also uses quite a bit of energy helping the flower form it’s seeds.

Energy For Next Year’s Blooms – What To Do With Hydrangeas After They Bloom

The good news is that as soon as an old flower is removed, the energy is re-directed elsewhere. As mentioned above, some of that energy is directed toward filling out the remaining blooms.

But even more important, the plant also begins to re-direct that energy to root growth and nutrient storage. And by doing so, begins the process of powering the following summer’s blooms to an even bigger and brighter display.

Deadheading is most important during the plants first flush of blooms. As flowers fade, remove as many as possible to keep that energy flowing where it is needed most.

And when cutting blooms from a plant, always be sure to use sharp, clean pruners. Dull blades can easily injure the stems, and take even more time and energy for the plant to heal than the old bloom remaining.

A good pair of pruners will go a long way to making quick and easy work of the chore. Because many hydrangeas can be quite large, a long handled pair of Bypass Pruners can be one of the best choices of all.

Hydrangea Care – What To Do With Hydrangeas While They Are Blooming

What you need to do with your hydrangea after it finishes blooming all depends on what variety you are growing. And you can usually tell the variety by when it blooms.

In general, summer blooming hydrangeas need to be pruned immediately after they finish blooming. This includes Oakleaf, Bigleaf, Climbing and Mountain varieties.

All of these varieties produce their next year’s flowers on this year’s late summer growth or what is called “old wood” And if you wait until fall to prune these varieties back, you are also pruning off that wood that hold’s the following season’s blooms.

Unfortunately, when most gardeners have trouble getting their hydrangeas to bloom each year, it is quite often due to pruning their bushes too late the previous year – and not to poor plant or soil health.

To prune old-wood blooming hydrangeas, less is more. Hydrangeas don’t need to have major pruning to continue blooming. Simply prune to hold shape or control wild branches.

Late Summer / Fall Booming Hydrangeas – What To Do With Hydrangeas After They Bloom

For Smooth and Panicle varieties, pruning should be done in late winter or very early spring. These varieties produce their blooms on new wood and bloom in late summer to fall.

By pruning the plant before new growth occurs, you are in no danger of removing future blooms. However, pruning these varieties during the growing season will eliminate same year blooms.

Again, much as with summer blooming varieties, late summer and fall hydrangeas do not need to be heavily pruned. Simply prune for shape and control.

Finally, there is fertilizing your hydrangeas. A bit of power every year is certainly helpful to producing great bloom cycles. But when you apply that fertilizer is extremely important.

Luckily, for both summer and late summer/fall varieties, fertilizing is best done in the early spring as the plant begins to come to life. To fertilize, there is no need for fancy, formulated mixes for hydrangeas.

A simple, well balanced fertilizer such as Jobes All Purpose Plant Food is more than enough to do the job. This will help to provide pre-bloom power to the plant, and keep it strong and healthy all season long!

Here is to caring for your hydrangeas while they bloom – and after. And to having beautiful flowers for many years to come! For more great info on perennials, be sure to check out our “Perennial Care” section on the website.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

For many flower growers, hydrangea shrubs are an old-fashioned favorite. While older mophead types are still quite common, newer cultivars have helped the hydrangea see renewed interest among gardeners. Regardless of the variety, there is no denying that hydrangea blooms are both vibrant and attention grabbing. It is only natural that you may wish to pick and use them as cut flowers. However, doing so may present some difficulties.

One of the most common issues related to keeping hydrangeas fresh in a vase is making sure that the flowers do not wilt. Wilting of hydrangeas occurs most often after the flowers have just been cut or after they have just been arranged. Due to the large flower heads, the prevention of wilt will require careful attention to hydration and conditioning.

How to Make Hydrangeas Last

When going into the garden to cut hydrangea blooms, make certain to bring a bucket of clean water. Immediately after cutting, place the flowers into the water. Cut hydrangea blooms perform best when older flowers are selected, as younger blooms may be more difficult to keep hydrated. Before arranging, allow the flowers to sit in water in a cool place to rest for several hours.

Many gardeners and florists follow additional post-harvest procedures in order to reduce the likelihood of wilt. Among these methods of keeping hydrangeas fresh is the process of dipping the stem of the hydrangea in boiling water or placing the stem of the hydrangea in alum.

Dipping cut hydrangeas in alum is one of the most popular methods of preventing wilt. Alum can be found in the spice or baking aisle of most grocery stores. After cutting, simply dip a small section of the hydrangea stem into the alum powder before putting the flower in a vase. It is believed that this process will help the flowers with water uptake.

If the use of alum is not an option, many suggest dipping the stem of hydrangea in boiling water after cutting. Place the bottom inch (2.5 cm.) of the stem directly in the water for about thirty seconds. Then, remove the flower and place it in a vase of clean water. Never use kitchen containers for this process, as hydrangeas are toxic.

If hydrangea flowers still wilt, many can be revived with a thorough soaking. To do so, fill a clean bucket with water and place the flower heads inside. Allow the flowers to soak for several hours then remove and place them in a vase. This additional hydration should fully restore freshness to the hydrangea blooms.

Hydrangeas are the quintessential romantic summer bloom. Their big, moppy heads and little clusters of flowerets are iconic. A big bouquet of them cut and arranged on a table is pure bliss! Yes, hydrangeas are one of the best loved flowers around! But like many things, these dramatic beauties can be a little bit of a diva! They often wilt as soon as they are cut and brought into the house. And there is nothing pretty about droopy hydrangeas! Here’s a few ways to guarantee full, long lasting cut hydrangeas!

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Cutting hydrangeas during their growing season is far different than cutting them at the end of their season when they are papery and really don’t need water to stay beautiful. Here are a few great tips for having fresh cut hydrangeas in your home all summer long!

TAKE A CONTAINER OF WATER OUT TO THE GARDEN WITH YOU WHEN CUTTING HYDRANGEAS.

As soon as hydrangeas are cut the stems should immediately be put into tepid water. Use a sharp knife or clippers to cut each stem on a diagonal and submerge!

Cut hydrangeas in the morning and choose only the most mature blooms. They will look a little more papery than others.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

PREPARE WATER IN A CONTAINER OR VASE

Use clean, room temperature water for hydrangeas. If you have floral preservative use it too.

STRIP THE LEAVES OFF OF CUT HYDRANGEA STEMS

When you bring hydrangeas inside make sure you strip off the leaves from each hydrangea stem. I break this rule often… and I shouldn’t! The leaves are big water drinkers and will steal it from the blooms. At least, strip off most of the leaves. Those that are below the water line should absolutely be removed!

CUT AND SMASH THE BOTTOM OF THE STEMS

Cut the hydrangeas stems to the desired length. Smash the very bottom of them to allow more water to travel up the stems and feed the blooms. I use a wooden meat mallet to crush the ends of the hydrangeas I bring inside. You can also cut the bottom of each stem on the diagonal and then make a cut up each stem instead of smashing it.

There is some controversy about smashing the ends of hydrangeas. I find it does work well if I use the boiling water method.

BOIL WATER AND DIP EACH HYDRANGEA STEM INTO IT

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Yes, boiling water! Hydrangeas produce a “sap” that clogs their stems and blocks water from traveling up it to those gorgeous blooms. The boiling water helps to do away with the sap.

Put boiling water into a cup. Dip each stem into the boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately put them into a vase or container filled with room temperature water (see directions above).

REPLACE WATER EVERY OTHER DAY

Replacing the water in the vase or containers that hold hydrangeas will keep them fresher longer! Also, give hydrangeas a fresh cut and dip them in boiling water before putting them in the fresh water!

EMERGENCY RESCUE FOR WILTING HYDRANGEAS

If hydrangea blooms start to prematurely wilt you can totally submerge them in a “bath” of water for about 45 minutes. Then recut and place the stems into boiling water and then back into a vase of fresh water. They should revive in a couple of hours and live another day or two.

One of my dear readers, Nancy, reminded me of a second method for keeping cut hydrangeas from wilting. You can cut the ends of the hydrangeas on an angle and cut up the stem a little and dip them in ALUM before putting them in a vase of fresh water. You can find ALUM in the spice isle of your grocer’s. I’ve never tried this method but I’ve heard is works great! Thanks, Nancy. Aren’t StoneGable readers the best? Yes, they are.

It takes a little extra care to have a big beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas gracing your home… but it is sooooo worth it!

How to cut hydrangea blooms

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It is that time of year where our Hydrangea shrubs begin to blossom beautiful and vibrant flowers. Their distinct shape and large size make them show-stopping garden plants for everyone to enjoy. Have you ever wanted to take those beautiful flowers indoors? Hydrangea flowers make beautiful cut flower arrangements or additions to small flower arrangements by adding dimension.

The one thing that can be tricky when handling cut Hydrangea flowers is keeping them from wilting. Unfortunately, Hydrangea flowers can wilt easily, but there are a few steps you can take to avoid this! Learn how to properly cut, care for, and revive your cut hydrangea flowers and enjoy them in your home or an event.

Choose the Right Time to Cut Your Flowers

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Cutting during their growing season is much different than cutting at the end of their growing season when the flowers are mature and don’t need much water to stay beautiful. When they are at the end of their growing season, you will notice the flowers look more papery than fresh, as new blooms do.

2. Cut your hydrangea flowers in the morning. Also, the flowers that are most mature are the ones that will look papery; those are the ones you want to cut. Choosing these flowers is smart because they are the most developed and are not as sensitive as new growth would.

Water is Essential for Success

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Bring a container of water with you to your garden when cutting your hydrangea flowers. Have a container of water prepared so you can immediately place the cuttings into water.

2. Use clean, room temperature water for your cut flowers.

3. Always cut your plant’s stems at an angle so that they can absorb as much moisture as they require. Make sure you are replacing the water every day because that will keep the flowers fresher longer.

4. Feel free to add flower food to the water to help boost nutrients for your cuttings.

Prepare Cuttings for Healthy Growth

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Once you bring your cuttings inside, be sure to remove all the leaves off your hydrangea’s stems. The leaves love to drink up all the water and will steal it from the blooms on your cuttings.

2. If you cannot remove all the leaves, that is okay; however, make sure you remove all the leaves below the waterline (they can wilt and rot). Otherwise, you can keep a few leaves on the stem.

3. Another way for your cutting to absorb enough water is to cut and smash the bottom of the stems. Use a tool like a wooden meat mallet or something comparable to crush the ends of your cuttings.

4. If you do not want to smash your flower cutting’s stems, you can make a cut up the stem instead. Doing so will give you the same effect as smashing the ends would.

Get Rid of the Sap

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Hydrangeas produce sap that clogs their stems and blocks water from reaching their flowers, which in turn will cause your cut flowers to wilt quickly.

2. You can fix this by dipping the end of each stem into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Immediately after that 30 second-interval is over, place your cuttings in room temperature water.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Even if you follow the steps above, there is still a chance your Hydrangea flowers could wilt. Don’t panic, we have the solution! As soon as you notice they’re wilting, you can submerge the flower heads into a “bath” of water. Leave the flowers fully submerged in the water for about 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes are up, you should repeat a few of the care steps listed above, like:

  • Replace the stems at an angle.
  • Place the stems into boiling water for 3o seconds.
  • Immediately place the cutting back into a vase of fresh, room temperature water.

You will see the flowers revive and look brand new in just a few short hours. It is crucial to know that they will not live for much longer, but you should expect them to stay alive for another 1 to 5 days. You can also mist the blossoms once a day to help keep them moist and happy.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Have you ever wanted to enjoy your beautiful hydrangea flowers long after the bloom? We have just the solution; drying Hydrangea flower heads. Hydrangea flowers are extremely easy to preserve and take little to no effort to do so! These flowers take about 2 to 3 weeks to dry and can last u to a year.

There are several ways to preserve hydrangea flowers, but we will show you how to do the water-drying method. In our opinion, this is the easiest and most effective method because it helps retain the color of the flowers and lasts the longest.

July 7, 2021 • Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangeas are also known as hortensia, meaning “Of the Garden” in Latin. An ancient Roman name, hortensia (Hydrangea macrophylla) is the most common of over 75 species. Another popular hydrangea species, Limelights (Hydrangea paniculata), like most hydrangea species, portray the most extraordinary white-lime colored blooms. Common hortensia plants grow in a variety of colors from early spring to late fall.

Thriving in partial shade to full sun, the colossal flowers bloom in shades of pink, purple, green, white, red, and blue. Not to mention, one of the most interesting facts about hydrangeas is that you can change the color by planting aluminum or iron, like a nail, in the soil with the roots.

The root and rhizome (stems found underground) are useful in herbal medicine for curing urinary tract issues, bladder infections, prostate and urethra problems, and kidney stones. With so many healing qualities, the widespread popularity of this particular plant is obvious.

An incredibly diverse and widespread plant, hydrangeas are believed to be native to Asia and the Americas. According to legend, a Japanese emperor gifted the plant to his love’s family to represent his devoted feelings for her.

Similarly, in the United States, hydrangeas symbolize strong emotions, love, and appreciation and are often given to couples as a 4th wedding anniversary gift. A remarkably beautiful flower with significant symbolism, the hydrangea is an inspiring addition to any garden or flower arrangement. Hydrangeas may require some upkeep and grooming, but the rewards are worth showing the plant some tender loving care.

So, to answer the question, should hydrangeas be cut back in the winter? The answer is yes. Hydrangeas are considered to be shrubs so to maintain a healthy plant, begin pruning when the flowers fade after the summer season. However, they can also grow as tall as a tree or a climbing vine reaching incredible heights of up to 100 feet tall. Hydrangeas grow bigger and more beautiful when pruned properly. Towards the end of winter, these shrubs should be cut back before any new growth commences in early spring. A good rule of thumb when deciding what is the best time to prune your hydrangeas is to observe when the blooms begin to die. Another pro tip, never plant a hydrangea under a tree because the root systems will compete for nutrients and will not evolve to their full growth potential.

5 Reasons to Cut Back Hydrangeas in the Winter

  1. To remove old blooms that are taking nutrients from the healthy new growths on the shrub.
  2. To clean up and shape the plant’s appearance.
  3. To increase the plant’s vitality and expand the size of the shrub and blooms.
  4. For bigger, healthier blooms, cut the plant all the way back.
  5. To improve the plant’s overall health.

Winter Care for Hydrangeas

How to cut hydrangea blooms

For most plants, winter is their dormant period. While some hydrangeas still grow during the winter season, they should still be cut back before the new blooms develop in early spring. Most gardeners are concerned about the plant’s health, but also desire an orderly appearance rather than promoting unruly, wild growths. Learning when the correct time to begin pruning certain hydrangea species is imperative. Luckily, countless resources can guide you as to when the right time is for your environment and species.

By allowing the hydrangea plant to become too woody, the flowers will grow smaller in size because all of the nutrients needed to increase the bloom size are being dispersed through all of the useless woody parts of the plant. Pruning can also monitor and control the plant’s shape and prevent it from growing wild and reduce the branches from folding. Hydrangea blooms can grow to be so immense in size that the branches break from the weight of their own flowers. When you cut hydrangeas back, you create a stronger base to support the blooms.

Hydrangeas are one of the most diverse plants that appear in a variety of colors, locations, and species. Thriving in Asia and the Americas, hydrangea species have adapted to be resilient plants. Preferring morning sun and afternoon shade, hydrangeas need room to grow freely within reason. The holistic health benefits that hydrangeas provide to the organs within the human body is just one reason that hydrangeas are a special plant. Used to treat urinary tract issues, bladder infections, prostate and urethra problems, and kidney stones, the hydrangea plant serves a bigger purpose in addition to providing beautiful blooms to enjoy in your garden.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Since our post about how to cut peony for indoor vases was such a hit, we thought we would share a how-to cut hydrangea and keep them from wilting. Another popular summer flower, hydrangea can be tricky and you probably see them wilt soon after you bring them indoors.

While on vacation last summer, our rental had these beautiful hydrangea bushes. By following the steps below they lasted the entire week indoors during our stay. I could not bear to throw them out when we left so I really don’t know how long they lasted.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Here’s a few ways to guarantee full, long lasting cut hydrangea blooms!

If you plan on cutting them early in the season, follow these simple steps:

1. TAKE A CONTAINER OF WATER OUT TO THE GARDEN WITH YOU WHEN CUTTING HYDRANGEAS.

As soon as hydrangeas are cut the stems should immediately be put into tepid water. Use a sharp knife or sharp clippers to cut each stem on a diagonal and submerge!

2. Cut hydrangeas in the morning and choose only the most mature blooms.

Your flowers will look fresher than if they’ve been under the hot sun all day. Since the flowers are fresher, they will last longer in your arrangement. The most mature blooms look more papery than the younger blooms.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

3. PREPARE WATER IN A CONTAINER OR VASE FOR INDOOR USE

Use clean, room temperature water for hydrangeas. If you have floral preservative you can use it too.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

4. STRIP THE LEAVES OFF OF CUT HYDRANGEA STEMS

While you may like the look of those big green leaves of hydrangea in your arrangement, unfortunately the leaves suck up a lot of the water.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Simply strip off most of the leaves once you bring them inside. At the very least, like any other flower arrangement, leaves that are below the water line should absolutely be removed!

How to cut hydrangea blooms

5.CUT AND SMASH THE BOTTOM OF THE STEMS

Once you have determined the length of stem you need, cut the stems. I don’t care to smash the stems so I simply cut the bottom of each stem on the diagonal and then make a cut up each stem. This allows for plenty of water flow into the flower.

6.REPLACE WATER EVERY OTHER DAY

Another great practice for any fresh cut arrangement. Replacing the water in the vase or containers that hold hydrangeas will keep them fresher longer!

How to cut hydrangea blooms

With their gorgeous heads of flowers, hydrangeas make a bold statement in any garden. And, as a plus, they are a perennial so you can keep them around for future seasons. With any perennial, you need to cut it back, but just when should you do so with hydrangeas? Read on for more information.

Hydrangeas are a type of shrub and as such need to be pruned each year. While they technically can be left alone, they will grow quite wild, which is probably not what you want in your garden.

When to cut back hydrangeas? There are two categories for hydrangeas, those that grow in early summer and those that grow in late summer. Early growth hydrangeas can be pruned in late summer. This gives the plant enough time to re-grow as the blossoms will only grow on old-growth stems. As for late summer hydrangeas, you can leave them until late winter or early spring for pruning. Their blossoms bloom on new growth stems, so the later pruning works well.

If you happen to forget all about your hydrangeas, you will still have flowers; the plant will just be a bit wilder than you may like.

When should hydrangeas be cut or pruned?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a simple answer to this question. There are many different varieties of hydrangeas and each will have different needs.

For those that are just planting your hydrangeas now, make it easier for yourself by keeping the plant tag with the varietal name on it. If you have forgotten the name, don’t panic as you just need to observe your hydrangea’s habits.

Generally, there are two types of hydrangeas, those that bloom in mid-summer and those that bloom in late summer. These types will determine when you need to prune your plant.

Blooms in early summer

There are certain types of hydrangeas that bloom in early summer, around June. These include Oaklead and Nikko Blue.

One easy way to tell if your hydrangeas fall into this category is if they are blue. One of the more common varieties, blue-colored hydrangeas will always be a part of this category.

Another category we’ll include in this section is ever-blooming hydrangeas.

All of the hydrangeas mentioned will grow their blooms on old wood, or the parts of the shrub from the previous year. As such, you will need to prune these at the end of the summer.

If you leave pruning too late, such as in the spring, with these varieties the branches won’t be considered old growth and you run the risk of not having any blossoms.

Blooms in late summer

Some hydrangeas bloom in August and to do so, they grow on new growth of the plant. Essentially, when a new branch grows, this is where the flowers will eventually bloom.

Common varieties that bloom in late summer are Quickfire, Limelight, and Annabelle. If you’re a purist gardener, their botanical names are H. paniculata and Hydrangea arborescens.

When you have hydrangeas that bloom in late summer, you should prune them in late winter or early spring. Just don’t leave it too late as the old-growth needs to be pruned early enough so that new growth can grow and develop blossoms later in the summer.

What happens if you don’t cut back hydrangeas?

Remember how we just discussed the different types of hydrangeas? Well, this affects what happens if you don’t prune them.

Hydrangeas that bloom in early summer grow on old growth. Therefore, if you leave your hydrangeas alone, the entire shrub will be old-growth and therefore you will still get plenty of flowers.

As for hydrangeas that bloom in late summer, they grow on new growth. While your hydrangea bush will continue to grow new stems as it matures, if you don’t cut it back, there won’t be as much new growth as you would like.

Therefore, these types of hydrangeas won’t look as nice as there will be a lot of old-growth taking up valuable space.

Hydrangeas will continue to grow, whether you cut them back or not. The thing to consider is how neat you want your garden to look.

How to prune Hydrangeas

How to cut hydrangea blooms

There are different ways to prune your hydrangeas, and it depends on what you’re more interested in, bigger flowers or a stronger framework.

Bigger Flowers

Those that want big, bold hydrangea flowers, either to look at or to fill a bouquet, will want to cut back their shrub in a particular manner.

Locate the stems and cut them just above the ground. You don’t need to cut right at the soil level but you shouldn’t leave more than a few inches of stems.

Just remember that while you will get larger blooms, the stems might not be as sturdy. Therefore, you may need to add a lattice structure for better support.

Strong Framework

Some gardeners prefer a neat and tidy look and therefore this option is more common. You’ll still bask in the wonder of your flowers; they will just be a bit smaller.

Take your pruning shears and cut the branches about 10 inches up from the soil. This doesn’t have to be even and some branches can be a bit longer.

If you have a particularly large bush, you can even leave the stems to be up to 18 inches tall from the soil.

Other Tips for Pruning Hydrangeas

If you want to keep your garden looking tidy, you can always snip off old blooms. Just clip them below the flowers.

As hydrangeas become older, they will have larger, woody areas. You can always remove some of these older canes to allow more room for younger canes to grow.

Removing older canes is a good idea as they will usually produce smaller flowers.

Conclusion

Hydrangeas are really special flowers. They are bold and gorgeous and make a lovely bouquet. If you have hydrangeas that bloom in early summer, you will want to prune them at the end of summer. For those that bloom in late summer, cut them back in late winter or early spring.

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How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangea blooms can make for fabulous floral arrangements, especially the mophead varieties, which are so large, they can fill a vase with its many tiny flowers. They also keep very well, especially with a few precautions. Since new flowers frequently bud on old wood, cut the green part, not the brown area of the stem. This will ensure that new blooms will delight you the next year. You may expect properly cut blooms to last for at least several weeks to a month.

Floristry experts suggest that you make certain the flower is at least a week old and is fully colored prior to cutting it since the older the bloom, the longer the cut flower will last in water. Once the bloom is cut, which should be cut on a diagonal, the hydrangea should be immersed in water for two hours. To increase water absorption, you can either smash the bottom of the stem with a hammer, or cut 1 inch (2.54 cm) off the bottom of the stem while it is immersed in water. This will keep the bloom alive and drinking water for a longer period of time.

Some experts recommend boiling the water and then chilling it before soaking of the bloom. Others simply recommend keeping the stem well immersed in water. Consider using a shorter vase, and cutting the hydrangea stem short, about 6 inches (15.24 cm) or less. A longer stem requires more water and will shorten the life of the bloom. Since the stem will take up water, check longer stems frequently to see if the water in the vase needs to be replaced.

Though hydrangea leaves are pretty, they should all be trimmed off a bloom. They will also steal water from the flower part and shorten the life of a cut flower. Also, do not trim non-blooming stalks on a plant less than five years old because they tend to become next year’s flowers. Cutting with caution is, therefore, recommended.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

June 30, 2021 • Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangeas blooms are beautiful and popular flowers. There are times where the Brown hydrangeas blooms will need to be cut. This article will explain what types of Brown hydrangeas blooms are and when Brown hydrangea blooms should be cut.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-The Mophead Hydrangeas

How to cut hydrangea blooms

One type of hydrangea flowers that are capable of turning brown is the Mophead Hydrangeas. Mophead Hydrangeas are classified as the Hydrangea macrophylla. Some mopheads are white, pink, and blue. An example of a mophead hydrangea is the Big Daddy Hydrangea.

The Big Daddy Hydrangea blooms can be in pink or blue. This is depending on the soil pH. It is also known as soil reaction. Soil reaction is a sign of the acidity of soil. Soil reaction is measured by pH unit. A soil reaction number of 7 is neutral on the ph unit.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-Endless Summer & Oakleaf Hydrangea

Another type of mophead hydrangea that can be turned brown are the Endless Summer blooms. The Endless Summer are the only hydrangea that can grow on both the previous year’s branches and during the new growing season.

These hydrangea blooms colors consist of blue and pink flowers. The blue and pink flowers appear from the spring through the summer seasons. However, they can turn brown. Another type of hydrangea that can turn brown is the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It is found in the southeastern part of the United States.

One reason why the Oakleaf, Endless Summer, and Nikko Blue can turn brown is turn to the fact that they are planted during a hot sunny day. This can occur around the noon hour of the day. As a result of the blooms being outside in the hot sun, the blooms will turn brown.

When Should Brown Hydrangea Blooms Be Cut

How to cut hydrangea blooms

When the hydrangea flowers are turning brown, they are needed to be eliminated with cuts through a process called deadheading. Deadheading is the process of pinching or cutting off the flowers stem below the spent flower. You will need to cut above the first set of healthy leaves.

The process has be completed until all of the dead flowers are eliminated on the plant. When you’re eliminating the dead flower, you are allowing the flowering shrubs to stop producing seeds. When this occur, the shrubs can put their work into energizing the root and foliage part of the hydrangeas. Therefore in the long run, your plants will be stronger.

There are steps and items that are need before you can start deadheading hydrangeas. You will need a pair of garden gloves, pruners, and a container that will contain the faded flowers. A pruner is used for cutting thin pieces of wood. There are two types of pruners. One are the bypass pruners.

The bypass pruners have a single-edged blade. These types of pruners are the common ones that gardeners uses. Another type of pruner that you ca use for cutting off brown hydrangea blooms are anvil pruners. Anvil pruners have blades that can cut to the middle of the fat lower base of a flower.

The first thing that you need to do before deadheading hydrangea s is to wipe the pruner blade off. It will need to be wiped off with a cloth. The cloth will need be drenched in denatured alcohol. As the hydrangeas are being snipped, you will need to wipe down the pruners in between each snips.

This will help with preventing disease from spreading through the shrub. In order to perform deadheading on the hydrangeas, you need to take each browned bloom and follow the stem down to the next set of the leaves. This is where you will do the cutting. Another benefit of cutting off brown hydrangeas blooms is that it will allow new flowers to grow.

You don’t need to do deadheading during the mid to late fall seasons.

Conclusion

It’s clear that hydrangeas such as Big Daddy, Endless Summer, Nikko Blue, and Oakleaf are some of the hydrangeas that can turn brown. When these blooms turn brown, it’s time to perform the deadheading process. Gardeners across the country use deadheading to keep their hydrangeas looking at their best throughout the seasons.

It is that time of year where our Hydrangea shrubs begin to blossom beautiful and vibrant flowers. Their distinct shape and large size make them show-stopping garden plants for everyone to enjoy. Have you ever wanted to take those beautiful flowers indoors? Hydrangea flowers make beautiful cut flower arrangements or additions to small flower arrangements by adding dimension.

The one thing that can be tricky when handling cut Hydrangea flowers is keeping them from wilting. Unfortunately, Hydrangea flowers can wilt easily, but there are a few steps you can take to avoid this! Learn how to properly cut, care for, and revive your cut hydrangea flowers and enjoy them in your home or an event.

Choose the Right Time to Cut Your Flowers

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Cutting during their growing season is much different than cutting at the end of their growing season when the flowers are mature and don’t need much water to stay beautiful. When they are at the end of their growing season, you will notice the flowers look more papery than fresh, as new blooms do.

2. Cut your hydrangea flowers in the morning. Also, the flowers that are most mature are the ones that will look papery; those are the ones you want to cut. Choosing these flowers is smart because they are the most developed and are not as sensitive as new growth would.

Water is Essential for Success

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Bring a container of water with you to your garden when cutting your hydrangea flowers. Have a container of water prepared so you can immediately place the cuttings into water.

2. Use clean, room temperature water for your cut flowers.

3. Always cut your plant’s stems at an angle so that they can absorb as much moisture as they require. Make sure you are replacing the water every day because that will keep the flowers fresher longer.

4. Feel free to add flower food to the water to help boost nutrients for your cuttings.

Prepare Cuttings for Healthy Growth

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Once you bring your cuttings inside, be sure to remove all the leaves off your hydrangea’s stems. The leaves love to drink up all the water and will steal it from the blooms on your cuttings.

2. If you cannot remove all the leaves, that is okay; however, make sure you remove all the leaves below the waterline (they can wilt and rot). Otherwise, you can keep a few leaves on the stem.

3. Another way for your cutting to absorb enough water is to cut and smash the bottom of the stems. Use a tool like a wooden meat mallet or something comparable to crush the ends of your cuttings.

4. If you do not want to smash your flower cutting’s stems, you can make a cut up the stem instead. Doing so will give you the same effect as smashing the ends would.

Get Rid of the Sap

How to cut hydrangea blooms

1. Hydrangeas produce sap that clogs their stems and blocks water from reaching their flowers, which in turn will cause your cut flowers to wilt quickly.

2. You can fix this by dipping the end of each stem into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Immediately after that 30 second-interval is over, place your cuttings in room temperature water.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Even if you follow the steps above, there is still a chance your Hydrangea flowers could wilt. Don’t panic, we have the solution! As soon as you notice they’re wilting, you can submerge the flower heads into a “bath” of water. Leave the flowers fully submerged in the water for about 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes are up, you should repeat a few of the care steps listed above, like:

  • Replace the stems at an angle.
  • Place the stems into boiling water for 3o seconds.
  • Immediately place the cutting back into a vase of fresh, room temperature water.

You will see the flowers revive and look brand new in just a few short hours. It is crucial to know that they will not live for much longer, but you should expect them to stay alive for another 1 to 5 days. You can also mist the blossoms once a day to help keep them moist and happy.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Have you ever wanted to enjoy your beautiful hydrangea flowers long after the bloom? We have just the solution; drying Hydrangea flower heads. Hydrangea flowers are extremely easy to preserve and take little to no effort to do so! These flowers take about 2 to 3 weeks to dry and can last u to a year.

There are several ways to preserve hydrangea flowers, but we will show you how to do the water-drying method. In our opinion, this is the easiest and most effective method because it helps retain the color of the flowers and lasts the longest.

June 30, 2021 • Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangeas blooms are beautiful and popular flowers. There are times where the Brown hydrangeas blooms will need to be cut. This article will explain what types of Brown hydrangeas blooms are and when Brown hydrangea blooms should be cut.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-The Mophead Hydrangeas

How to cut hydrangea blooms

One type of hydrangea flowers that are capable of turning brown is the Mophead Hydrangeas. Mophead Hydrangeas are classified as the Hydrangea macrophylla. Some mopheads are white, pink, and blue. An example of a mophead hydrangea is the Big Daddy Hydrangea.

The Big Daddy Hydrangea blooms can be in pink or blue. This is depending on the soil pH. It is also known as soil reaction. Soil reaction is a sign of the acidity of soil. Soil reaction is measured by pH unit. A soil reaction number of 7 is neutral on the ph unit.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-Endless Summer & Oakleaf Hydrangea

Another type of mophead hydrangea that can be turned brown are the Endless Summer blooms. The Endless Summer are the only hydrangea that can grow on both the previous year’s branches and during the new growing season.

These hydrangea blooms colors consist of blue and pink flowers. The blue and pink flowers appear from the spring through the summer seasons. However, they can turn brown. Another type of hydrangea that can turn brown is the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It is found in the southeastern part of the United States.

One reason why the Oakleaf, Endless Summer, and Nikko Blue can turn brown is turn to the fact that they are planted during a hot sunny day. This can occur around the noon hour of the day. As a result of the blooms being outside in the hot sun, the blooms will turn brown.

When Should Brown Hydrangea Blooms Be Cut

How to cut hydrangea blooms

When the hydrangea flowers are turning brown, they are needed to be eliminated with cuts through a process called deadheading. Deadheading is the process of pinching or cutting off the flowers stem below the spent flower. You will need to cut above the first set of healthy leaves.

The process has be completed until all of the dead flowers are eliminated on the plant. When you’re eliminating the dead flower, you are allowing the flowering shrubs to stop producing seeds. When this occur, the shrubs can put their work into energizing the root and foliage part of the hydrangeas. Therefore in the long run, your plants will be stronger.

There are steps and items that are need before you can start deadheading hydrangeas. You will need a pair of garden gloves, pruners, and a container that will contain the faded flowers. A pruner is used for cutting thin pieces of wood. There are two types of pruners. One are the bypass pruners.

The bypass pruners have a single-edged blade. These types of pruners are the common ones that gardeners uses. Another type of pruner that you ca use for cutting off brown hydrangea blooms are anvil pruners. Anvil pruners have blades that can cut to the middle of the fat lower base of a flower.

The first thing that you need to do before deadheading hydrangea s is to wipe the pruner blade off. It will need to be wiped off with a cloth. The cloth will need be drenched in denatured alcohol. As the hydrangeas are being snipped, you will need to wipe down the pruners in between each snips.

This will help with preventing disease from spreading through the shrub. In order to perform deadheading on the hydrangeas, you need to take each browned bloom and follow the stem down to the next set of the leaves. This is where you will do the cutting. Another benefit of cutting off brown hydrangeas blooms is that it will allow new flowers to grow.

You don’t need to do deadheading during the mid to late fall seasons.

Conclusion

It’s clear that hydrangeas such as Big Daddy, Endless Summer, Nikko Blue, and Oakleaf are some of the hydrangeas that can turn brown. When these blooms turn brown, it’s time to perform the deadheading process. Gardeners across the country use deadheading to keep their hydrangeas looking at their best throughout the seasons.

Join the Community

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangea blooms can make for fabulous floral arrangements, especially the mophead varieties, which are so large, they can fill a vase with its many tiny flowers. They also keep very well, especially with a few precautions. Since new flowers frequently bud on old wood, cut the green part, not the brown area of the stem. This will ensure that new blooms will delight you the next year. You may expect properly cut blooms to last for at least several weeks to a month.

Floristry experts suggest that you make certain the flower is at least a week old and is fully colored prior to cutting it since the older the bloom, the longer the cut flower will last in water. Once the bloom is cut, which should be cut on a diagonal, the hydrangea should be immersed in water for two hours. To increase water absorption, you can either smash the bottom of the stem with a hammer, or cut 1 inch (2.54 cm) off the bottom of the stem while it is immersed in water. This will keep the bloom alive and drinking water for a longer period of time.

Some experts recommend boiling the water and then chilling it before soaking of the bloom. Others simply recommend keeping the stem well immersed in water. Consider using a shorter vase, and cutting the hydrangea stem short, about 6 inches (15.24 cm) or less. A longer stem requires more water and will shorten the life of the bloom. Since the stem will take up water, check longer stems frequently to see if the water in the vase needs to be replaced.

Though hydrangea leaves are pretty, they should all be trimmed off a bloom. They will also steal water from the flower part and shorten the life of a cut flower. Also, do not trim non-blooming stalks on a plant less than five years old because they tend to become next year’s flowers. Cutting with caution is, therefore, recommended.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

This is a question we hear frequently in the garden center. It usually is followed up with “Should I prune my hydrangeas down in the fall?” Here’s the story on both of those queries:

1. You don’t have to clip off the old flowers unless you don’t like how they look. If you object to their appearance as they turn brown, by all means clip them off. Some people cut them while they’re still colorful and use them for bouquets indoors. Others snip them off and toss them in the compost, while some gardeners and homeowners prefer to let them drop naturally over the winter. One of our landscaper friends, Karen, from Old Sod Landscaping, calls these fallen hydrangea flowers “Cape Cod tumble weeds.”

2. In general it’s better to wait until spring to prune hydrangeas and if you’re growing the blue or pink Hydrangea macrophylla (mopheads or lacecaps) you should never cut them back! You can download a handout on how to prune your blue and pink hydrangeas here. Shrubs with the white flowers that age pink in the fall (varieties of Hydrangea paniculata) can be cut back harder since they bloom on new growth. Remember, however, that hard pruning always stimulates growth and these new stems will be more tender and weak…so a H. paniculata that has been pruned hard is likely to bend over the next year with the weight of the flowers. Whenever possible, pruning should be done to improve appearance, not control size.

The flowers on this Pee Gee hydrangea are lovely in October so there’s no need to remove them unless you want to cut a bouquet for indoors. In areas where early, heavy snow is possible people sometimes clip off the flowers so that they don’t pull the plant to the ground early in the winter. But in our area such early snowfalls aren’t common so we can enjoy these fading blooms well into December.

Hydrangeas as cut flowers are perfect if you are feeling hydrangea-starved. That describes me a week or two ago. Then we had two consecutive days of temps in the 60s. That gave me a terminal case of spring fever! But I knew enough not to rush out and start playing with my hydrangeas. Living in zone 5, there’s a lot of winter still ahead of me. February is right around the corner and then there are the cruel 31 days of March. So what’s a hydrangea-lover to do?

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Cut flowers for sale in local stores

Fortunately, there are cut flowers for sale just about everywhere. My local florist, grocery store, box stores like Costco and BJs are just a few options.

So I brought home a small bunch of hydrangeas, cut the stems diagonally as I do with all my cut flowers, added the small packet of flower food included in the bunch to a vase of water, and put them in that vase. I was looking forward to enjoying my purchase.

Look what happened – my hydrangea cut flowers drooped within a few hours of being in my kitchen.

How to cut hydrangea bloomsHydrangeas often droop when placed in a vase

The same thing happens when I cut flowers from my garden during the growing season. So I decided to fix this problem now that I had some time (and no real garden chores to distract me).

WHY DO HYDRANGEAS AS CUT FLOWERS DROOP?

First, the science. Hydrangeas produce a sap in their stems much like a pine tree. That sap clogs the stem and prevents water uptake. That’s why they wilt: no water is getting to the flower. So all I had to do was get rid of that sap and prevent it from returning.

HOW TO PREVENT THE DROOP

There are a few ways to attack and neutralize that sap. In all cases, you need to get your flowers in lukewarm water immediately after being cut. So in the garden, bring a vase or bucket of warm water with you when you go out to cut some blooms. Second, make sure you use very sharp pruners or scissors to avoid prematurely crushing the stem when you make your diagonal cut. Then you have a choice of several options.

  • One is to crush the stem end with a hammer to open it up. This seems unnecessarily violent to me. I’m not fond of bruising my flowers so I opted against that one.
  • The second is to put the cut end of the stem in boiling water for a few minutes to break up the sap. If you have the time, it works.
  • The next one is to dip your cut stems in alum powder, a compound available in your grocery store spice aisle. It’s mildly acidic and retards the growth of algae. Its best feature is it makes the vase water slightly more acidic which moves more readily through the stems of cut flowers than tap water which is usually neutral.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Alum powder is great for cut flowers

How to cut hydrangea blooms

FloraLife® Extends Vase Life for Cut Flowers

It’s an acidic product that breaks up the sap and allows the stems to take up the water. You can find it online and in craft stores.

I was working quickly as I didn’t have time to boil water, or go out to buy the alum. As it happens, I had some Floralife® on hand from when I cut some dahlias last summer. That made my decision easy.

RESULTS OF TREATMENT

After I recut and dipped the stems, I removed several leaves to direct as much water to the flowers as possible. They are heavy drinkers and I wanted all the water to go to the flowers. I’m delighted to report the flowers miraculously came back to life.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangea bouquet after being revived

We have been enjoying them for about 10 days — simply amazing!

With this new skill, I won’t mind spending the money for my cut flowers knowing I can keep them looking fresh for more than a week. That’s less than $1/day and what I would pay for a couple of (expensive) coffees.

Pretty good deal, if you ask me!

UPCOMING TALKS

I have posted some of my upcoming public talks for the next 2 months. The first two are at flower and garden shows in Connecticut. Take a look to see if you’ll be close by. I’d love to meet you!

6 Secrets for Stunning Hydrangea Flowers

Get my FREE mini-guide with 6 fool-proof tips showing how to grow hydrangeas that produce the most amazing flowers.

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular blooming woody shrubs in Minnesota landscapes and, as you’d expect, people often ask how and when to prune these beloved shrubs.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangea paniculata, panicle hydrangea

Prune back stems to just above a fat bud — called a heading cut — in fall, late winter or spring. These plants have conical-shaped flower heads. I recommend leaving the dry, tan flower heads on the plant to provide some winter interest in your landscape, so I wait to prune these until late winter or spring. Some favorite panicle hydrangeas:

  • Quick Fire® (H. paniculata ‘Bulk’ PP16, 812)
  • Limelight (H. paniculata ‘Limelight’)
  • First Editions® Berry White® (H. paniculata ‘Renba’ PP28, 509)

Hydrangea macrophylla, big leaf hydrangea

How to cut hydrangea blooms

These plants produce buds in late summer to early fall (August-September) that will form next year’s flowers. So prune these shrubs after they finish blooming before August (again, make a heading cut).

An exception is the Endless Summer® The Original Bigleaf Hydrangea (H. macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ PP15,298) and other cultivars in the Endless Summer series from Bailey Nurseries such as Blushing Bride, BloomStruck® , Summer Crush®, and Twist ‘n’ Shout®.

The H. macrophylla bloom on last year’s wood and new wood that grows this year. So it will bloom whether you prune it or not. Protect H. macrophylla in winter from rabbit browsing on the stems with a large, 4-foot tall ring of hardware cloth.

The Endless Summer hydrangea made a huge splash on the Minnesota landscape plant scene because of its pink to blue color flowers (achievable with proper soil amendment) and because it blooms on old and new wood.

Hydrangea arborescens, smooth hydrangea

Let these plants grow a season or two before doing any serious “hard” pruning. Once the shrub is established and has a couple of growing seasons under its belt, prune these hydrangeas in the spring down to the ground, or not at all if you want a larger shrub. Flower buds will grow on this season’s growth or new wood.

Some favorite smooth hydrangeas:

  • Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® (H. arborescens ‘NCHA7’ PP30,358)
  • Incrediball® (H. arborescens ‘Abetwo’ PP20571)
  • Annabelle (H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’)

Hydrangea petolaris or climbing hydrangea

This tough, gnarly vine needs little to no pruning ever, except for removing any dead wood that develops.

Plant this vine in full sun on a solid trellis or fence where you want a long-living, dense screen. It is a dickens to get rid of once it gets established.

Table of Contents

Flower buds form on current year’s growth. Prune in early spring, just as leaves are beginning to show. Cut branches back by one-half to one-third, cutting just above a node. Next, remove any weak or spindly branches.

Do you cut off dead hydrangea blooms?

No need to worry – this is simply a sign that it’s time to remove the flowers, a process called deadheading. When you deadhead hydrangeas, you aren’t harming the plants at all. Removing the spent blooms triggers flowering shrubs to stop producing seeds and instead put their energy toward root and foliage development.

What happens if you don’t cut back hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood do not need pruning and are better off for it. If you leave them alone, they’ll bloom more profusely the next season. Just remember new growth may come, but that new growth will be without blooms next season.

Which hydrangeas should not be pruned?

First, it’s important to know that mophead hydrangeas do not have to be pruned back – ever – unless they are very old. Removing dead stems is the only pruning that must be done for the health of the plant, and these can be removed at any time. Dead blooms can also be removed at any time.

When should I cut the flowers off my hydrangea?

“If you want a longer stem, you can make a deeper cut as long as it is done before July or August when the plant begins forming buds for next year’s flowers.” For smooth hydrangeas, she suggests removing the faded flowers as soon as they fade to green to ensure a second flush of smaller flowers in the fall.

When should you deadhead hydrangeas?

You should deadhead your hydrangeas throughout the entire blooming season so that once a flower has bloomed, it can be removed to encourage new blossoms and to keep your hydrangea looking fresh. The method you use is contingent upon the time of year that you are choosing to deadhead your hydrangea.

Is it necessary to prune hydrangeas?

First, know hydrangeas do not have to be pruned — unless the shrub has grown too large for its space or unruly and needs a little shaping up. Otherwise, you can simply clean up the plant by removing dead branches and deadheading spent blooms.

Do hydrangeas need cutting back?

Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea aborescens produce flowers on new wood, which means that you can cut them back harder without losing this year’s flowers. Pruning is not essential, but left unpruned the plant will get taller, with most of the flowers at the top.

Should hydrangeas be cut back for winter?

Hydrangeas bloom either on old wood or new wood, depending on the hydrangea type. New-wood blooming hydrangeas should be cut back in late winter before new growth begins, while old-wood bloomers require pruning right after flowers fade in late summer.

Does cutting hydrangea blooms encourage more blooms?

Dull flowers can make your plant look blah, but pruning them away will allow for new growth. When you cut away old blooms, you encourage your plant to produce more blooms.

How far do you cut back hydrangeas in the fall?

Some hydrangeas’ branches often fall over under the weight of their blooms, especially after overhead irrigation or after a good rain. One way to alleviate this flopping is to cut the stems to a height of 18 to 24 inches to provide a sturdy framework to support new growth.

Do you cut back hydrangeas in the fall or spring?

While some plants bloom on new growth, others primarily set flower buds on old wood. Regardless, it is best to wait to prune all hydrangeas until spring. In the fall, hydrangeas (and all trees and shrubs) are in the process of going dormant. They do not produce very much new growth until the following spring.

When should oakleaf hydrangeas be pruned?

Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom on the previous season’s growth, so prune right after flowering in the fall or in early winter. Prune the older growth from oakleaf hydrangeas after the shrub flowers. Take one-third of the total growth or less to avoid cutting off next year’s blossoms.

What do you do with hydrangeas after they bloom?

The spent flowers from last season need to come off. It’s a good indication of where to prune. Look for those spent flowers and you go down the cane or stem until you see nice, healthy, powerful buds. What you do is, just prune them back just above the node.

When should I cut the flowers off my hydrangea UK?

Almost all hydrangeas should be pruned in late winter or early spring, with the exception being the climbing hydrangea which is pruned after flowering in summer.

How do I increase hydrangea blooms?

How to Get More Smooth Hydrangea Flowers: Plant smooth hydrangeas in full sun if the soil stays moist. Water them during times of drought, especially during the heat of summer. Amend the soil with organic matter (such as compost). Prune stems back in early spring, just before new growth emerges.

What is the difference between deadheading and pruning?

General Pruning-Deadheading Tips. (Note: “deadheading” means to remove the spent blossoms from plants, while pruning refers to removing any part of the plant, from large to small – what we’re doing in summer is small, just cutting back some and trimming.)Aug 2, 2016.

How do I maintain hydrangeas?

Hydrangea Care Tips Water at a rate of 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. Apply fertilizer based on your specific hydrangeas. Protect against pests and disease by choosing cultivars with resistant traits.

What do you do with hydrangeas in the winter?

The first thing you have to do for hydrangea winter care is to cut away dead wood the plant has produced. Also, weak or even dead branches should be cut away. You must do this before it starts to freeze. Otherwise, the open wounds of the cutting can freeze and this could damage your beautiful hydrangea.

What do you do when hydrangea flowers turn brown?

If your hydrangea blooms are turning brown too soon and quickly petering out, they likely need more water. Ditto if your flowers wilt during the day and don’t bounce back at night. To confirm, look for brown spots on leaf edges. To fix, deeply water hydrangeas once a week.

Do you deadhead hydrangeas in summer?

Throughout the blooming season, you should be deadheading the dead blossoms. Gardeners get to enjoy cutting longer stems off the shrub, showcasing the hydrangea blooms in vases. Deadheading should take place in early summer to help promote growth. After August, your hydrangea is probably growing new buds for next year.

When your blooms start to droop, you can easily make them look like new again.

I recently had a colorful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk as a little pick-me-up, and despite my best efforts, most of them started wilting after about a week. Hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and lilies were all in the mix, but the hydrangeas were the first to start drooping. I wasn’t quite ready to toss the whole arrangement out yet, so I decided to try a hack I’d come across online for reviving hydrangeas just to see if I could extend the life of the blooms a few more days. To my surprise, it actually worked really well, and most of the individual hydrangea flowers came back from the brink of death.

Why Do Cut Hydrangeas Wilt So Fast?

Hydrangeas are usually some of the first flowers to start looking sad in an arrangement because they have thick, woody stems that produce a sticky sap, which can make it tricky for them to take in enough moisture in a vase to reach the entire flower. But hydrangeas are also one of the few plants that can draw moisture in through their florets, so it’s possible to perk up wilted blooms by completely submerging them in water and letting them sit for a few hours to rehydrate.

This trick for reviving cut hydrangeas may not work every time, but it’s worth a shot if you have a few stems you’re not quite ready to toss yet. According to Rizaniño Reyes, a floral designer based in Seattle, the success of this hack depends on a few factors, including “when the flowers were cut and how long they’ve been in a box in cold storage post-harvest.” You’ll probably have better luck reviving slightly wilted fresh-cut hydrangeas, while ones that have been in storage longer might be a lost cause (but still worth a try!). “I’ve done this with reasonable success, but it’s never 100% from my experience,” Reyes says.

Don’t be tempted to try this with other common cut flowers like roses, peonies, or tulips to bring them back from the brink of wilting. They don’t have the ability to draw in moisture through the blooms like hydrangeas, so soaking them will only make them rot and wilt faster.

June 30, 2021 • Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangeas blooms are beautiful and popular flowers. There are times where the Brown hydrangeas blooms will need to be cut. This article will explain what types of Brown hydrangeas blooms are and when Brown hydrangea blooms should be cut.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-The Mophead Hydrangeas

How to cut hydrangea blooms

One type of hydrangea flowers that are capable of turning brown is the Mophead Hydrangeas. Mophead Hydrangeas are classified as the Hydrangea macrophylla. Some mopheads are white, pink, and blue. An example of a mophead hydrangea is the Big Daddy Hydrangea.

The Big Daddy Hydrangea blooms can be in pink or blue. This is depending on the soil pH. It is also known as soil reaction. Soil reaction is a sign of the acidity of soil. Soil reaction is measured by pH unit. A soil reaction number of 7 is neutral on the ph unit.

Which Types of Hydrangea Flowers Turn Brown-Endless Summer & Oakleaf Hydrangea

Another type of mophead hydrangea that can be turned brown are the Endless Summer blooms. The Endless Summer are the only hydrangea that can grow on both the previous year’s branches and during the new growing season.

These hydrangea blooms colors consist of blue and pink flowers. The blue and pink flowers appear from the spring through the summer seasons. However, they can turn brown. Another type of hydrangea that can turn brown is the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It is found in the southeastern part of the United States.

One reason why the Oakleaf, Endless Summer, and Nikko Blue can turn brown is turn to the fact that they are planted during a hot sunny day. This can occur around the noon hour of the day. As a result of the blooms being outside in the hot sun, the blooms will turn brown.

When Should Brown Hydrangea Blooms Be Cut

How to cut hydrangea blooms

When the hydrangea flowers are turning brown, they are needed to be eliminated with cuts through a process called deadheading. Deadheading is the process of pinching or cutting off the flowers stem below the spent flower. You will need to cut above the first set of healthy leaves.

The process has be completed until all of the dead flowers are eliminated on the plant. When you’re eliminating the dead flower, you are allowing the flowering shrubs to stop producing seeds. When this occur, the shrubs can put their work into energizing the root and foliage part of the hydrangeas. Therefore in the long run, your plants will be stronger.

There are steps and items that are need before you can start deadheading hydrangeas. You will need a pair of garden gloves, pruners, and a container that will contain the faded flowers. A pruner is used for cutting thin pieces of wood. There are two types of pruners. One are the bypass pruners.

The bypass pruners have a single-edged blade. These types of pruners are the common ones that gardeners uses. Another type of pruner that you ca use for cutting off brown hydrangea blooms are anvil pruners. Anvil pruners have blades that can cut to the middle of the fat lower base of a flower.

The first thing that you need to do before deadheading hydrangea s is to wipe the pruner blade off. It will need to be wiped off with a cloth. The cloth will need be drenched in denatured alcohol. As the hydrangeas are being snipped, you will need to wipe down the pruners in between each snips.

This will help with preventing disease from spreading through the shrub. In order to perform deadheading on the hydrangeas, you need to take each browned bloom and follow the stem down to the next set of the leaves. This is where you will do the cutting. Another benefit of cutting off brown hydrangeas blooms is that it will allow new flowers to grow.

You don’t need to do deadheading during the mid to late fall seasons.

Conclusion

It’s clear that hydrangeas such as Big Daddy, Endless Summer, Nikko Blue, and Oakleaf are some of the hydrangeas that can turn brown. When these blooms turn brown, it’s time to perform the deadheading process. Gardeners across the country use deadheading to keep their hydrangeas looking at their best throughout the seasons.

This is a question we hear frequently in the garden center. It usually is followed up with “Should I prune my hydrangeas down in the fall?” Here’s the story on both of those queries:

1. You don’t have to clip off the old flowers unless you don’t like how they look. If you object to their appearance as they turn brown, by all means clip them off. Some people cut them while they’re still colorful and use them for bouquets indoors. Others snip them off and toss them in the compost, while some gardeners and homeowners prefer to let them drop naturally over the winter. One of our landscaper friends, Karen, from Old Sod Landscaping, calls these fallen hydrangea flowers “Cape Cod tumble weeds.”

2. In general it’s better to wait until spring to prune hydrangeas and if you’re growing the blue or pink Hydrangea macrophylla (mopheads or lacecaps) you should never cut them back! You can download a handout on how to prune your blue and pink hydrangeas here. Shrubs with the white flowers that age pink in the fall (varieties of Hydrangea paniculata) can be cut back harder since they bloom on new growth. Remember, however, that hard pruning always stimulates growth and these new stems will be more tender and weak…so a H. paniculata that has been pruned hard is likely to bend over the next year with the weight of the flowers. Whenever possible, pruning should be done to improve appearance, not control size.

The flowers on this Pee Gee hydrangea are lovely in October so there’s no need to remove them unless you want to cut a bouquet for indoors. In areas where early, heavy snow is possible people sometimes clip off the flowers so that they don’t pull the plant to the ground early in the winter. But in our area such early snowfalls aren’t common so we can enjoy these fading blooms well into December.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

endless summer hydrangea color depends on soil pH

Related To:

Botanical Names: French or mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Paint your landscape with the living color of hydrangea blooms. These beautiful flowering plants unfurl blossoms in a variety of hues, including one of the garden’s most elusive shades: blue. Hydrangea shrubs open striking blossoms that steal the spotlight during peak bloom and stir interest as they linger through other seasons.

Hydrangea blooms offer a few consistent colors. French or mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangeamacrophylla) boast large, showy flower heads in purple, blue and pink shades, although some introductions with white flowers are available. A newer mophead hydrangea, Blushing Bride, opens white flowers that fade to either pink or pale sky blue, depending on soil pH.

Lacecap hydrangea blooms bring purple, blue and pink hues to the garden. With these eye-catching flowers, the center blooms are fertile and appear to have a deeper, richer color than the outer, more traditional individual hydrangea flowers. The result is that lacecap hydrangea blooms bring a two-tone color show to the garden. The effect is lovely and makes this hydrangea shrub an old-fashioned favorite.

Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) probably brings one of the strongest color shows. Its conical flower clusters open white and fade to exquisite blends of rose and pink in autumn. Leaves of oakleaf hydrangea also burst with fall color, shifting to shades of burgundy, wine-red and purple.

Hydrangea blooms not only bring great color to the garden, they can also be clipped and slipped into vases to add beauty to indoor settings. Many gardeners harvest and dry hydrangea flowers to add long-lasting beauty to interior spaces during winter. Blue, purple and pink hydrangea blooms offer the strongest hues when dried.

Drying hydrangea blooms is almost an art form. The methods for drying these showy blossomsare varied. You’ll encounter tales of tossing flowers into a car trunk and letting sun and warmth dry the blossoms, as well as traditional drying techniques like hanging stems upside down in a dark, airy spot. One of the easiest ways to dry hydrangea blooms is to place cut stems in a water-filled vase. As the water evaporates, the hydrangea blooms dry.

While the water evaporation method is probably one of the easiest, there is a trick to success: harvesting flowers at the right stage. Avoid cutting hydrangea blooms at peak color. At that point, blossoms contain too much moisture and will wilt before they dry. Instead, aim to cut stems when flowers start to change color and texture (flexible petals become brittle). Snip 12- to 18-inch stems, place in a vase with several inches of water and allow the water to evaporate. Drying time varies from 12 to 30 days. Flowers are dry when stems are brittle.

A bouquet of dried hydrangeas makes a fantastic display on a fireplace hearth or mantle, and dried blooms hold their own in holiday finery. Weave dried hydrangea blooms into garlands, add them to wreaths or stuff them into urns with holly branches and pine boughs for a natural-looking holiday display.

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular blooming woody shrubs in Minnesota landscapes and, as you’d expect, people often ask how and when to prune these beloved shrubs.

How to cut hydrangea blooms

Hydrangea paniculata, panicle hydrangea

Prune back stems to just above a fat bud — called a heading cut — in fall, late winter or spring. These plants have conical-shaped flower heads. I recommend leaving the dry, tan flower heads on the plant to provide some winter interest in your landscape, so I wait to prune these until late winter or spring. Some favorite panicle hydrangeas:

  • Quick Fire® (H. paniculata ‘Bulk’ PP16, 812)
  • Limelight (H. paniculata ‘Limelight’)
  • First Editions® Berry White® (H. paniculata ‘Renba’ PP28, 509)

Hydrangea macrophylla, big leaf hydrangea

How to cut hydrangea blooms

These plants produce buds in late summer to early fall (August-September) that will form next year’s flowers. So prune these shrubs after they finish blooming before August (again, make a heading cut).

An exception is the Endless Summer® The Original Bigleaf Hydrangea (H. macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ PP15,298) and other cultivars in the Endless Summer series from Bailey Nurseries such as Blushing Bride, BloomStruck® , Summer Crush®, and Twist ‘n’ Shout®.

The H. macrophylla bloom on last year’s wood and new wood that grows this year. So it will bloom whether you prune it or not. Protect H. macrophylla in winter from rabbit browsing on the stems with a large, 4-foot tall ring of hardware cloth.

The Endless Summer hydrangea made a huge splash on the Minnesota landscape plant scene because of its pink to blue color flowers (achievable with proper soil amendment) and because it blooms on old and new wood.

Hydrangea arborescens, smooth hydrangea

Let these plants grow a season or two before doing any serious “hard” pruning. Once the shrub is established and has a couple of growing seasons under its belt, prune these hydrangeas in the spring down to the ground, or not at all if you want a larger shrub. Flower buds will grow on this season’s growth or new wood.

Some favorite smooth hydrangeas:

  • Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® (H. arborescens ‘NCHA7’ PP30,358)
  • Incrediball® (H. arborescens ‘Abetwo’ PP20571)
  • Annabelle (H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’)

Hydrangea petolaris or climbing hydrangea

This tough, gnarly vine needs little to no pruning ever, except for removing any dead wood that develops.

Plant this vine in full sun on a solid trellis or fence where you want a long-living, dense screen. It is a dickens to get rid of once it gets established.

Table of Contents

Flower buds form on current year’s growth. Prune in early spring, just as leaves are beginning to show. Cut branches back by one-half to one-third, cutting just above a node. Next, remove any weak or spindly branches.

Do you cut off dead hydrangea blooms?

No need to worry – this is simply a sign that it’s time to remove the flowers, a process called deadheading. When you deadhead hydrangeas, you aren’t harming the plants at all. Removing the spent blooms triggers flowering shrubs to stop producing seeds and instead put their energy toward root and foliage development.

What happens if you don’t cut back hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood do not need pruning and are better off for it. If you leave them alone, they’ll bloom more profusely the next season. Just remember new growth may come, but that new growth will be without blooms next season.

Which hydrangeas should not be pruned?

First, it’s important to know that mophead hydrangeas do not have to be pruned back – ever – unless they are very old. Removing dead stems is the only pruning that must be done for the health of the plant, and these can be removed at any time. Dead blooms can also be removed at any time.

When should I cut the flowers off my hydrangea?

“If you want a longer stem, you can make a deeper cut as long as it is done before July or August when the plant begins forming buds for next year’s flowers.” For smooth hydrangeas, she suggests removing the faded flowers as soon as they fade to green to ensure a second flush of smaller flowers in the fall.

When should you deadhead hydrangeas?

You should deadhead your hydrangeas throughout the entire blooming season so that once a flower has bloomed, it can be removed to encourage new blossoms and to keep your hydrangea looking fresh. The method you use is contingent upon the time of year that you are choosing to deadhead your hydrangea.

Is it necessary to prune hydrangeas?

First, know hydrangeas do not have to be pruned — unless the shrub has grown too large for its space or unruly and needs a little shaping up. Otherwise, you can simply clean up the plant by removing dead branches and deadheading spent blooms.

Do hydrangeas need cutting back?

Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea aborescens produce flowers on new wood, which means that you can cut them back harder without losing this year’s flowers. Pruning is not essential, but left unpruned the plant will get taller, with most of the flowers at the top.

Should hydrangeas be cut back for winter?

Hydrangeas bloom either on old wood or new wood, depending on the hydrangea type. New-wood blooming hydrangeas should be cut back in late winter before new growth begins, while old-wood bloomers require pruning right after flowers fade in late summer.

Does cutting hydrangea blooms encourage more blooms?

Dull flowers can make your plant look blah, but pruning them away will allow for new growth. When you cut away old blooms, you encourage your plant to produce more blooms.

How far do you cut back hydrangeas in the fall?

Some hydrangeas’ branches often fall over under the weight of their blooms, especially after overhead irrigation or after a good rain. One way to alleviate this flopping is to cut the stems to a height of 18 to 24 inches to provide a sturdy framework to support new growth.

Do you cut back hydrangeas in the fall or spring?

While some plants bloom on new growth, others primarily set flower buds on old wood. Regardless, it is best to wait to prune all hydrangeas until spring. In the fall, hydrangeas (and all trees and shrubs) are in the process of going dormant. They do not produce very much new growth until the following spring.

When should oakleaf hydrangeas be pruned?

Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom on the previous season’s growth, so prune right after flowering in the fall or in early winter. Prune the older growth from oakleaf hydrangeas after the shrub flowers. Take one-third of the total growth or less to avoid cutting off next year’s blossoms.

What do you do with hydrangeas after they bloom?

The spent flowers from last season need to come off. It’s a good indication of where to prune. Look for those spent flowers and you go down the cane or stem until you see nice, healthy, powerful buds. What you do is, just prune them back just above the node.

When should I cut the flowers off my hydrangea UK?

Almost all hydrangeas should be pruned in late winter or early spring, with the exception being the climbing hydrangea which is pruned after flowering in summer.

How do I increase hydrangea blooms?

How to Get More Smooth Hydrangea Flowers: Plant smooth hydrangeas in full sun if the soil stays moist. Water them during times of drought, especially during the heat of summer. Amend the soil with organic matter (such as compost). Prune stems back in early spring, just before new growth emerges.

What is the difference between deadheading and pruning?

General Pruning-Deadheading Tips. (Note: “deadheading” means to remove the spent blossoms from plants, while pruning refers to removing any part of the plant, from large to small – what we’re doing in summer is small, just cutting back some and trimming.)Aug 2, 2016.

How do I maintain hydrangeas?

Hydrangea Care Tips Water at a rate of 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. Apply fertilizer based on your specific hydrangeas. Protect against pests and disease by choosing cultivars with resistant traits.

What do you do with hydrangeas in the winter?

The first thing you have to do for hydrangea winter care is to cut away dead wood the plant has produced. Also, weak or even dead branches should be cut away. You must do this before it starts to freeze. Otherwise, the open wounds of the cutting can freeze and this could damage your beautiful hydrangea.

What do you do when hydrangea flowers turn brown?

If your hydrangea blooms are turning brown too soon and quickly petering out, they likely need more water. Ditto if your flowers wilt during the day and don’t bounce back at night. To confirm, look for brown spots on leaf edges. To fix, deeply water hydrangeas once a week.

Do you deadhead hydrangeas in summer?

Throughout the blooming season, you should be deadheading the dead blossoms. Gardeners get to enjoy cutting longer stems off the shrub, showcasing the hydrangea blooms in vases. Deadheading should take place in early summer to help promote growth. After August, your hydrangea is probably growing new buds for next year.

Everyone loves the hydrangea and thinks of the giant mophead or the more delicate but equally spectacular lacecap varieties. Gorgeous, long-lasting blooms that seem to go on and on throughout the summer. But when the blooms have faded, uncertainty abounds as to what is the correct approach to take.

Which Types of Hydrangea Can You Cut Off Dead Blooms?

For the purposes of deadheading, it is important to know that there are five distinct types of hydrangea bushes that are commonly grown in gardens around the world. Before you deadhead your hydrangeas, you should identify which variety you have, as the procedure to follow will depend on this.

Bigleaf Hydrangeas

Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) is the most widely grown of hydrangea shrubs. Both the mophead and lacecap varieties come into this group. Bigleaf hydrangeas are those plants that give magnificent floral displays every summer, with huge clusters of usually pink or blue flowers.

Climbing Hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangea is a beautiful, perennial vine which once established will grow rapidly and reach 30 feet (9.14 meters) tall. It bears large white flowers and is a great choice if you want to hide an ugly building or wall.

Hydrangea Arborescens

Also known as smooth or wild hydrangeas, these shrubs are ideal if you want to plant a hedge and have masses of white flowers. They tolerate heat better than most other hydrangea varieties, too.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Named because its leaves resemble the leaves on an oak tree, the oakleaf hydrangea bush offers both floral and foliage interest. Sometimes the leaves can be enormous, up to 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) long and broad. The leaves change color from vibrant green in summer, to orange, then red, and finally to brown as the fall advances.

Panicle Hydrangea

The panicle hydrangea has large, conical flowers which start pink and change to shades of pinkish-red. They are considered to be the easiest and most reliable of all hydrangeas to grow.

What is Deadheading?

Deadheading simply refers to the process of removing spent flower heads from the plant. It is commonly and incorrectly thought of as pruning, but deadheading is just removing flowers, nothing else.

Should I Deadhead Hydrangeas?

You aren’t hurting the plant at all by removing dead flowers. Once they are removed, the plant will stop trying to produce seeds and instead focus its energies on forming new growth and root development.

Deadheading also improves the look of your hydrangea, which can look uncared for and scruffy if flowers that have finished and turned brown remain on the shrub.

Deadheading hydrangeas isn’t essential, but providing it is done correctly at the right time of year will benefit both your plant and the look of your garden. No-one wants to look at dead or dying flowers!

When to Deadhead Hydrangea Shrubs

The importance of knowing which type of hydrangea you have can’t be over-emphasized when it comes to removing faded hydrangea flowers. It’s all to do with knowing whether your hydrangea bush flowers on old wood or new wood, and understanding what this means.

Deadheading Hydrangeas that Flower on Old Wood

Bigleaf hydrangeas (both mophead and lacecap varieties), climbing and oakleaf hydrangeas all flower on old wood.

Because these shrubs flower on old wood, they start to produce the following year’s flower buds on existing woody stems during the summer, even when the present year’s flowers are still in bloom. This is why you have to be very careful when removing the faded flowers from these varieties of hydrangeas.

The best time to remove the flowers from these varieties is as soon as possible once the blossom has finished. Ideally, this will be before August. Usually, the flowers will be over by July and if you cut short stems only, or as close to the bloom as possible, you will not risk damaging next year’s developing flower buds.

Some people advocate not removing the faded blossoms from this type of hydrangea at all and just leaving the plant alone. This avoids the risk of damaging the buds. Another reason to consider leaving the dead flowers in situ, is that the faded blooms can protect the tender flower buds below from harsh winter cold, late spring frosts, and damaging winds.

If you are in a colder region, then this is certainly something to consider. However, if you want your hydrangea plant to be neat, then removing the faded blooms is something you’ll want to do.

Deadheading Hydrangeas that Flower on New Wood

Smooth hydrangeas (H. arborescens) and panicle hydrangeas (H. paniculata) on the other hand both bloom on new wood.

This means that both the above varieties of hydrangea shrubs produce their flower buds on the new growth of the current season. Because of this, there is much less chance that by deadheading your faded flowers, you will remove developing flower buds!

You can therefore carry out this job at any time of year (except, of course, during the summer when the plant is coming into flower). Normally, hydrangeas flower on new wood flowers later in the season because they have to produce the stems and the flowers all in one season.

You may have a hydrangea that blooms on both new and old wood. These are newer cultivars of the bigleaf hydrangea, H. macrophylla and have the ability to flower all summer. The most commonly available is Hydrangea Endless Summer.

With this type of hydrangea, you should carefully cut off dead hydrangea blooms during the summer.

This hydrangea flowers first on its old wood, and then on the new wood. So you need to take care to cut off the first flush of faded blooms as early as possible. Cut as close to the flower head as possible, to avoid harming any of the following year’s flower buds that will be developing below the flowers.

Once the second flush of flowers has finished, you can safely remove them, as these will have formed on new wood.