Pruning Tips for Proven Winners® Big Leaf Hydrangeas

Let’s Dance® & Cityline® Hydrangeas

Hydrangea careTo trim or not to trim, that is a big question! The weather is cooling off and your garden perennials and flowering shrubs are probably starting to look sad. I often get asked “Can I trim my Hydrangeas?”, “Does my Hydrangea bloom on new or old growth? New or old wood?”

When referring to Big Leaf Hydrangeas such as the ones we sell from the Proven Winners collections Let’s Dance® and Cityline®, the answer is “NO”. Do not trim these shrubs. Both the Let’s Dance® & Cityline® Hydrangeas set their buds in the late summer to fall. In this picture I took on 11/16/13, you will notice a reddish pink looking bud at either the tips of the stems or set down the branch a bit. What you are seeing is the bud for next year’s flowers. If you trim much after August 1, you will be sacrificing your flowers for the following year. These hydrangeas bloom on what’s called ‘old wood’ or the previous season’s growth. You do have a little play though with the Let’s Dance® Hydrangeas. The Let’s Dance® series blooms on both old and new wood which is why it is referred to as a reblooming hydrangea. If you happen to trim these plants back you will only be sacrificing the first round of blooms that come from the old wood, you still will have the blooms that set on the current season’s growth.

Hydrangea PruningBecause our Proven Winners, Let’s Dance® & Cityline® hydrangeas blooms on old growth and or new and old growth we recommend the different series for different areas of the country. If you live in the South and are a zone 7 or higher we would recommend to you that either of the Let’s Dance® or Cityline® lines series would be good for your area of the country. Being that you are warmer and do not have as harsh of winters, you do not need to worry about your buds suffering from winter kill. Any of our Big Leaf Hydrangeas would work well in your yard. If you are a Northern gardener we have a slightly different recommendation for you. If you are in zones 5 or 6 we would recommend that you consider the Let’s Dance® series. Due to the harsh winters in those zones there may be a chance that the buds from your previous season growth would winter kill. But do not worry, as the Let’s Dance® series also blooms on new growth, giving you a second chance for blooms.

There are occasions when gardeners will tell me that their Hydrangea Shrubs are just too big and they need to be trimmed. If this is the case you can do it in early August (although you may be trimming off flowers) or go ahead and do it when it is convenient but recognize that to get your shrubs size and shape in check, you maybe sacrificing blooms… and that is OK to do every now and then. The biggest thing I can tell you is, if you are not sure if your hydrangeas bloom on new or old growth, DO NOT TRIM THEM. You are better safe than sorry.

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