HAVE a hedge of hydrangeas. I live in an area that is quite prone
to heavy late frosts. When is the best time to prune my hydrangeas
and how should I go about it? Can I use hedge clippers?
could take to your hydrangeas with hedge clippers - they would survive
and grow away all right, but you wouldn't get nearly as many flowers.
It would also encourage thin, whippy growth that wouldn't flower
well next year.
Hydrangeas can tolerate
frost, but once spring growth has started, a heavy frost could knock
them back a bit, so put off pruning until you feel the risk has
gone. Then cut out any thin, weak shoots at their base. Next, cut
back the shoots that flowered last year (the remnants of old flowers
should still be visible) to a pair of nice fat buds close to the
top of the shoot which should produce flowers later this year. Make
sure to choose the fattest buds, as small ones are less likely to
flower. Don't touch any of the shoots that didn't flower last season,
unless they are weak or broken, as they should produce this season's
first flowers from their tips.
Gardener, Issue 182, 2005, Page 26
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.