Re­ju­ve­nate old hy­drangeas

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

Big, old, ne­glected hy­drangea bushes be­come very woody and over time lose some of their vigour, pro­duc­ing less growth and smaller blooms. This can all be turned around with some se­ri­ous prun­ing. Us­ing lop­pers or a sharp prun­ing saw, cut back the oldest, thick­est stems at ground level. This stim­u­lates vig­or­ous new growth from the base. Then cut out all the thin, weak branches, along with any dam­aged or dis­eased wood. All you should be left with is young, strong, healthy growth. Prune back any stems that have re­cently flow­ered by about a quar­ter, to just above a pair of plump buds. Th­ese buds will pro­duce flow­ers. Leave un­flow­ered branches alone, as they’ll also pro­duce flow­ers next sea­son. Give the bush a deep soak­ing, then mulch with com­post. Fer­tilise and wa­ter in spring.

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