How to proceed when pruning panicle hydrangea Should they be pruned in autumn or spring? Our tips for the perfect cut of panicle hydrangeas.
Panicle hydrangeas are particularly impressive because of their large, dense flower panicles, which appear in different colors depending on the variety and which also change over the course of the flowering period. Annual pruning is advisable to keep your panicle hydrangeas blooming and their compact growth. However, if you don’t have enough time or if you have the panicle hydrangea in a flowering hedge, for example, it should be said that Hydrangea paniculata grows excellently even without pruning. Without pruning, it will grow larger and bare inside the bush over the years. So it will eventually have fewer flowers to the leaf mass.
If you would like to get an overview of panicle hydrangeas, we recommend our special article on panicle hydrangeas. There you will find out everything you need to know about planting, caring for, and propagating the pretty hydrangea and get to know the best varieties.
When should you cut panicle hydrangeas?
Panicle hydrangeas are one of the late-blooming hydrangea species. Your wilted panicle flowers make a pretty decoration in the garden in winter. In the spring, the rods can then be cut back if necessary. The right time to prune the panicle hydrangea is between mid-March and April, after the last heavy frosts and before the new plant shoots. In addition to pruning, spring fertilization has a supportive effect, especially with pot hydrangeas, and helps the panicle hydrangea to develop powerful new shoots and the formation of many flowers. For example, organic hydrangea fertilizer with long-term effects reliably supplies the hydrangea with all the important nutrients.
Trimming panicle hydrangeas: this is how you go about pruning
There are several ways that the panicle hydrangea can be cut. Basically, don’t be too cautious. The more you prune the panicle hydrangea, the more powerful the new shoots will be and in summer it will thank you with the larger panicles of flowers. Around a third of the crown, volume can be shortened per cut. The panicle hydrangea, unlike, for example, the farmer’s hydrangea, forms the flower buds only after it has sprouted on the “new”, i.e. this year’s wood. Therefore, when pruning, you don’t have to worry about removing or damaging flower buds.
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If you want to keep the classic shrub shape, you should shorten all the shoots to a stub about 15 centimeters high with about 2 “sleeping eyes”. This means dormant bud systems from which new shoots sprout in spring. You can recognize them as raised points under the bark. In addition, sick and dead wood should be completely removed.
If you want to cut your young panicle hydrangea into a high stem, you have to take the following pruning measures in the first year of standing: First look at the plant carefully and select one of the central shoots that will later form the stem. Decide on a strong, straight shoot if possible. All laterally growing shoots must be removed. Cut them back completely, that is, down to the base.
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The shoot that has been left standing should be stabilized with a wooden stick. In addition, it should be shortened to 2 to 3 pairs of sleeping eyes. In the following years, every spring the shoots that start in the lower part of the main trunk are removed and the shoots of the crown are cut back to about 10 centimeters in length.
If you are interested in planting and caring for panicle hydrangeas and would like to find out how you can easily propagate your favorite panicle hydrangea, read on in our special article on panicle hydrangeas.
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