Tag Archive for: flower care

How Do I Prune Hydrangeas?

“How do I prune hydrangeas” sounds like a simple question, right? But, to do it correctly, this question needs to be tackled in three parts.  We first have to answer:

What kind of hydrangea do you have?

When is the right time to prune the type of hydrangea you have?

What is the best way to prune your hydrangea?

Identifying Hydrangeas

There are SIX different species of hydrangea commonly found in gardens and to know when and how to prune them correctly, you’ll need to determine which type you have.  The species will let us know if it blooms on new or old wood, which is critical information to have before getting your pruning shears out. Lop off the buds and you will risk having a subpar showing of flowers in spring! You can identify your hydrangea species through the flowering and leaf pattern.

Identifying Hydrangea Species and Types

When to Prune Hydrangeas

Once you have successfully identified the type of hydrangea you have, you need to know whether it blooms on new or old wood. This information will guide the timing of your pruning.

New growth: Shrubs that bloom on new growth should be pruned in late fall once the plants have gone dormant or in early spring before new growth has started. This will maximize the amount of new growth and the number of flowers your shrub produces.

Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood:

  • Smooth hydrangeas
  • Panicle hydrangeas

Old growth: Shrubs that bloom on old growth, should be pruned immediately after their flowers have faded. This gives the plant plenty of time to develop wood that will be “old” by the time the next season’s flower buds emerge.

PRO TIP: Most experts agree that hydrangeas that bloom on old wood do not need aggressive pruning. Rather, you should aim to prune only when needing to shape or maintain their size.

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood:

  • Oakleaf hydrangeas
  • Bigleaf hydrangeas
  • Mountain hydrangeas

When to Prune Hydrangeas

How to Prune Hydrangeas

In general, flowering woody shrubs that bloom on new wood thrive on somewhat aggressive pruning, while those that bloom on old wood require more careful restrained pruning. Hydrangeas are no exception.

The two species that bloom on new wood—panicle and smooth hydrangeas—do well with an aggressive annual pruning that removes as much as one-third of the shrub. So, for example, if your hydrangea is six feet tall, you can safely prune as much as two feet off the top and sides. Be wary of pruning more than 30% of the shrub to avoid removing too much of its framework needed to keep it upright. For best results, prune back stems to just above (1/4”) a fat bud or a healthy set of leaves.

We have experts on our team who know exactly when and how to prune your shrubs to keep them healthy and producing beautiful foliage and flowers. Call (262) 252-4260 or complete a contact form here.

August Landscaping Guide

Peony Bush in a GardenFlower Care

  • Fertilize container plantings.
  • Deadhead flowers to encourage additional blooming.
  • Monitor for disease and insect problems and treat as needed.
  • Divide bearded iris. For healthy plants, these should be divided every 3 to 5 years.
  • Check rhizomes for iris borer caterpillars.
  • Do not fertilize shrubs or roses after mid-August to discourage tender new growth before winter.

someone trimming grassLawn Maintenance

  • Mow as necessary. Raise mowing height to at least 3” as temperatures exceed 85˚F.
  • Water lawn adequately to keep it from going dormant. Deep (1” per week) and infrequent is preferred over frequent shallow waterings.
  • Scout for grubs. Peel back sod. More than 8 grubs per square foot can cause wilt or death of turf.
  • Establish or renovate turf by seed (late summer – early fall, depending on weather conditions). Prepare soil properly and get good seed to soil contact.

Trees & Shrub Care

  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs. Soak each plant well with the hose; sprinklers do not provide adequate water to encourage deep root growth.
  • Scout for fall webworm nest building near ends of branches.
  • Review health of trees and consider fall root feeding if necessary.

Tip! Don’t let weeds go to seed. “A year of seeding equals 7 years weeding.”

If keeping up with your landscaping chores feels overwhelming, reach out to learn more about our maintenance programs. (262) 252-4260