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Hydrangea macrophylla

Q: Can I prune my hydrangea now?

A: Pruning hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, the ones with the large globe-shaped flowers would be a mistake this time of year. It will result in fewer if any flowers next May or June.

Pruning can be accomplished at two different times. Late summer is more desirable, since most of these hydrangea types flower only from the end buds of upright or lateral shoots produced during late summer and fall of the previous season. Prune as soon as the flowers have faded and strong shoots are developing from the lower parts of the stems and crown. Remove at the base some of the weaker shoots that are both old and new. Always try to keep several stems of old productive wood, with a sufficient number of stout new stems that will flower the following season. Flower color is dependent upon the pH of the soil in which it is grown: blue if acid; pink if alkaline. There are also several white flowered cultivars.