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Ask Extension: Pruning hydrangeas

Brown wood wall with white flowering shrub cascading over the top and pink flowering plant across a gray stone walk.
H. paniculata ‘Little Lamb’ cascades over the author’s timber wall.

Question: I moved into a new house with some gorgeous hydrangeas. When is the best time to prune them?

Answer: When to prune hydrangeas is a common question and the answer is it depends on the type of hydrangea.

  • If you have a panicle hydrangea such as Quickfire or Limelight, late winter or early spring is the optimal time just before bud break (when buds swell and open).
  • If you are growing bigleaf hydrangeas such as the Endless Summer series of hydrangeas, they can be pruned in late winter, early spring, or after blooming.
  • Smooth hydrangeas like Annabelle and Incrediball® can be pruned down to the ground in spring, or just let them grow.

You can read more about pruning hydrangeas on our new webpage, Pruning hydrangeas for best bloom.

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