When to prune hydrangeas for ‘fabulous big blooms’ – avoids risk of smaller flowers

are a superb choice for shady borders, adding structure and beautiful late-summer colour due to their big heads and bold foliage

With the right , hydrangeas will flower reliably year after year. However, it’s also vital to know what to cut back these plants as it could be too late.

Hydrangeas come in a wide range, and each type has its pruning requirements, so before picking up your secateurs, you’ll need to identify your hydrangea.

The easiest way to identify hydrangeas is by their flower type, so if you’re not sure what you have, leave it to grow for a season before pruning it.

Having identified her hydrangeas as Annabelle, otherwise known as hydrangea arborescens, Jacqui Mundy took to the Hydrangeas in the UK Facebook page to ask if the shrub should be pruned now.

Posting a picture of the hydrangeas plant in a dormant state, she said: “Could someone tell me please whether I can prune this Annabelle now please?”

The majority of the comments answered yes. Iris New said: “Yes, you should be fine to do them now. I have done mine.”

Andrea Davidson wrote: “Did all my hydrangeas today cut them down to the new growing shoots.”

Helen Sergeant replied: “It’s very leggy. You can trim down to a pair of leaves or bud and will still get some flowers this year.”

Andrea Lucas commented: “Cut mine down to just above ground level about two weeks ago and covered root dome with compost. 

“Always done this in March and have been rewarded with fabulous big blooms. I live in West Midlands.”

Experts were also in agreement that theses hydrangeas should be cut back now. According to the gardening pros at Dutchy of Cornwall Nursery, Annabelle hydrangeas should be pruned in “early spring before growth commences”.

They warned that if the plant “is not pruned”, or is “not cut all the way back”, there will be more blooms which will be “smaller and higher up”. 

As these hydrangeas bloom on wood that grows in the current year, they are pruned by “cutting the whole plant back to the lowest pair of healthy buds”. 

This will mean removing all the stems almost to ground level and creating a short stubby framework.

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