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Hydrangeas October hard pruning ?

A customer has requested her hydrangeas be pruned to the ground in October , She has had them pruned in this fashion once every Three years in October ( not by me ) are there any benefits or risks if new wood starts to  grow over Winter ?  I dont normally prune hydrangeas at this time of year and never pruned one to the ground .

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  • PRO

    For a long time I left hydragenas until Spring. Until a few years ago I did them as soon as the heads die. They have flowered far better with the pruning in October/November than they ever did with a spring prune and I haven't seen any ill effects.

  • PRO

    Thanks Seth I always left them until spring too leaving the old flower bracks on . 

    what struck me is how good her hydrangeas look . October pruning must have benefits .

    • PRO

      I think they're a lot tougher than people think. In a way just how some people are with roses.

  • We’be Been cutting back as far as any new buds/shoots for a couple of years now, again all is well.

    my neighbour took four of his down to the ground, the new growth was lovely and i’m Sure he’ll have a lovely flower display next year

  • That's interesting I've got loads too prune and there all growing over the lawns, usually prune them late spring. I will give it a go when they finally finish. 

  • PRO

    Really interesting thread. If you prune to the ground in October do they put on growth before Winter sets in so that they have some old wood to flower on? They all flower on 'last year's wood' don't they? Thanks Jim.

    • PRO

      If i remeber rightly -- hydrangea : paniculata types, arborescens types and macrophylla types all flower from new wood and all are best cut hard down annually in spring for larger flowers. I would think with the others october hard pruning would be better than spring if you wanted flowers the next year - giving the longest time for flower buds to flower. However although its customer dependant, it tends to be thought of as better practise to leave seed heads on over winter visually and eco wise. 

  • I think the waiting till spring thing goes back to when we had proper winters . I've been pruning them and the back end of the year for a long time .. especially if it's a hard prune.  If you hard prune in spring,  your not going to get as much bloom .

    • PRO

      I agree , I think the pruning calendar in general needs revising .  I have sometimes reluctantly had to go against advice handed down to be astonished by the oucome in a good way . 


      • PRO

        global worming doesnt mean hotter summers and milder winters on the whole - it means more extremes and worst winters than we can remember will come from time to time -- and although theres the old school people that want borders 'putting to bed' - most newer wave people look for some leaving most perenials to die back slowely and help give cover and seed heads for wildlife benefits

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