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When do you cut back a hydrangea and how far do you cut it back. Thank you. Fran


Cutting back a Hydrangea Dear Fran,
Actually, although there are many varieties of hydrangeas, most do not need to be cut back at all. If yours has some long stems sticking out from the shrub, you can cut them to the shape of the overall shrub after the plant blooms. If you have a hydrangea that has grown to the point that it is blocking a window, growing into a walkway or just too big for its space, you can cut the shrub back by 1/3. You will want to remove all the dead, woody stems by just breaking them off at the base of the plant. This is important to do to allow air flow through the plant. While you can cut the hydrangea back by 1/3 at any time, if you do it before the plant blooms, you will be cutting off some of this year's flowers. I generally like to wait until after the blooms have past. If your hydrangea needs even more reduction in size, you can cut it back by no more than 1/3 each year until you get it where you want it. Good luck.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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