How to Prune Hydrangeas

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Prune hydrangeas after they have finished blooming in the fall by trimming the branches back one-third each year. Avoid pruning hydrangeas back past the little tips with the buds by considering instructions from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening & Plant Care
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Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to prune hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are so beautiful, they're a shade plant so they do really well in shady areas and give you lots of beautiful flowers. So the best time to prune them is right after they're done blooming in the fall and when they are starting to lose their leaves and go dormant. And I found that by just trimming them back one third per year, you never want to trim them back more than that, then they'll grow even more lush the next year. So even removing about one third of all the branches so they can get more light into the middle of it because even though it's a shade plant, it still needs sunlight but you never want to prune it back past the little tips. There's going to be all these little buds that are going to be left in the fall through the winter and if you prune it past those buds just into wood, they're not going to grow very well the next year. You need to prune them just back to where the little buds are where there's leaves if there's still leaves on the plant or if they've lost the leaves they'll have the little buds and you want to just prune it back to the bud point and not any farther. And never prune it back more than one third of the plant at one time. So if you move into a house and there's a hydrangea that's just out of control, do the time and just prune it one third the first year, one third the second year and one third the third year and eventually it will take a nice shape and it'll come back and bloom beautifully for you and you can save it.

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