Daily Mail

Prune your hydrangeas now


Big and blowsy hydrangea flowers look almost as good dried as fresh. You can remove the blooms as soon as they have gone over but i like to leave them on the plant over winter, which helps to protect against frost.

Now is the time to cut them back, but how you prune depends on what type they are. They fall into three groups, not including climbing hydrangeas such as H. petiolaris which are best pruned immediatel­y after flowering.

The first group, including H. paniculata, flowers from midsummer on that year’s growth.

in early spring, these should be cut back hard, leaving just two or three healthy stems that should be pruned to 45cm above a healthy pair of buds.

The second group are the mopheads and lacecaps such as H. macrophyll­a, which flower on last season’s growth.

These should only be pruned lightly, removing old flower heads, and taking out one or two of the oldest stems at the base.

Other species such as H. aspera only require light pruning in spring. After cutting back, add a quick release fertiliser and mulch to a depth of 10cm in a 60cm circle around the shrub.

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