Tuesday, March 21, 2006


If you want to know about hydrangeas, I recommend a visit to this website: Unfortuneately, I may have discovered it's treasured information too late.

I have one rather unsightly looking hydrangea. It’s strategically placed ouside the front door. In the wintertime, it's brown and woody and barky and not very attractive.

Last year, a neighbor told us to chop it back in early spring. I raised an eye at the man. He was by no means a master gardener, and without license I tend to take people’s advice with a grain of salt. But we listened--with that grain of salt-- and pruned it back some. Not as dramatic as he told us to, but enough so that he thought we listened to him. By the summer, the ugly duckling turned into a pretty green bush, but it only bloomed 1-2 blossoms and they weren’t that pretty. It was a small let down.

In my “What to do in March” list, I should “cut back summer blooming plants, like hydrangeas” so I figured now is a good time to understand the hydrangea.

Unfortunately, I decided to prune back -- way back -- the hydrangea before finding this lovely website and may have caused more bad than good. Acording to the website:, prune hydrangeas per Method I...
"for hydrangea types that bloom on OLD WOOD. (Stems are called "old wood" if they have been on the hydrangea since the summer before the current season. "New wood" are stems that developed on the plant during the current season). This means that flower buds are formed on the stems of hydrangeas around August, September or October for the following summer's blooms. If those stems are removed (pruned) in the fall, winter, or spring, the bloom buds will be removed, and there may be little or no bloom the following June/July."
Did that mean I just pruned back any of the blooms? Because honestly, I didn't see anything that resembled a bloom on what I pruned off ... just old barky wood, 1/2 of which was dead anyway. Any hydrangea help is welcome, although I may just have to keep an "status report" on this one.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi, I have found some hydrangea to be very fussy. Part of the problem is, they dry out over winter. That is why it is a good idea to cover them with mulch. Here is a link for a tempting variety