Pruning question?

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by Ronni, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    Have I waited too late to prune this hydrangea? It exploded with leaves last summer but barely flowered! From what I read that happened because of the way I pruned it?

    I swear it was just yesterday that it was bare. Today it’s for all these new shoots!

    Have I missed my window? FC0D6A52-04C9-4833-BA10-74F4C705CB0E.jpeg
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I think that it depends upon what type you have. Most need to be pruned in the summer after blooming, but not all. Do you know what kind you have? When it blooms and what colour it is?
     
  4. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Some say never to prune ! I did one year and had no blooms afterward ! I am not a flower person you know ! I know vegetables ! If I can`t eat it,, I don`t need it !
     
  5. Luis_pr

    Luis_pr New Seed

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    It is way late to prune mophead hydrangeas and all the others which develop flower buds in late Summer or early Fall: hydrangea macrophyllas (aka as French Hydrangea or Big Leaf Hydrangea with their mophead or lacecap blooms), hydrangea anomala s. petiolaris (aka, climbing hydrangea), hydrangea quercifolia (aka, oakleaf hydrangea), hydrangea serrata (aka, Mountain Hydrangea that resembles a smaller version of typical macrophyllas), hydrangea aspera (aka, Rough Leafed Hydrangea with its fuzzy leaves). All of these already produced invisible flower buds in 2020 that resemble tiny broccoli heads when they open in 2021. These invisible flower buds are located near the ends of the stems so if you prune now, you may be cutting off some of Spring 2021's flowers. Note: you can deadhead blooms at any time so, if you still have spent blooms hanging around, you can safely "prune" them by cutting the peduncle, the string that connects the bloom to the stem. If you prune a short amount of the end of the stem, back up flower buds may spring into action and open blooms... but just do not go cutting half of a long stem (for example) and expect bloomage from it. ;o))

    Your foliage is too far away to tell and maybe too small to identify it but if this hydrangea is a mophead, I would wait to prune after the it has ceased opening more blooms. Try to complete the task somewhere around the end of June. If it is a remontant macrophylla, it will produce blooms again later, in the Summer perhaps, from new stems that may be growing off the base now (provided that the new stems can get old and tall enough before the near end of the growing season). Over here, somewhere in July, hydrangea macrophyllas begin to develop new invisible flower buds in Summer 2021 that will then open in Spring 2022. In Nashville, since you are further up north, macrophyllas may develop the flower buds a little later than here.

    If this hydrangea is a hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Leafed hydrangea like Annabelle) or a paniculata (Pee Gee Hydrangea), you can safely prune now as these produce their invisible flower buds from mid Spring to Summer instead.

    If you are not sure which one you have, take a look at this webpage that contains pictures of some of the blooms and try to identify them that way. Of course, to be 100% safe, do not prune until you identify them. You can also take sample blooms from the back of the plant to a local nursery that sells hydrangeas to see if they can help.

    https://plantaddicts.com/types-of-hydrangeas/

    Luis
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021



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  6. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Luis!!
    It’s definitely this one!! EA6EAA30-3958-4379-86B0-C5506A088484.jpeg ne!
     
  7. Luis_pr

    Luis_pr New Seed

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    Yes, that is a hydrangea macrophylla. It can produce two types of blooms and the one you listed is called a mophead.Some macrophyllas bloom once a year. Newer varieties tend to bloom twice a year. The blooms can have a variety of colors nowadays. You may see the usual shades of blue, shades of purple and shades of pink but some blooms might also now show a little green, yellows, etc. If the blooms are blue/purple/pink, these colors can be changed by either adding lime to acidic soils or adding sulfur/aluminum sulfate to alkaline soils. If the blooms are white, their color cannot be changed although as they mature, the white sepals will still go thru a color progression that varies by hydrangea type and variety. Enjoy your blooms first and prune later (before the end of June or in July or so) but basically, after the plant stops opening more blooms... and you get to enjoy the Spring flush for a few weeks/month-ish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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