Prune Hydrangeas in the Summer: How to Trim to Let Them Bloom Till the End of the Season?

by Snezhana Besarabova

Hydrangeas are beloved for their remarkable blooms in vibrant colors in purple, blue and rose palette, which embellish gardens and landscapes. But they require proper pruning, including summer months, which is crucial in keeping the vitality and beauty of your flowers. When you should prune hydrangeas in the hot season? What kind of trimming is suitable for the late summer, and for which of the varieties?

What is the Best Month to Prune Hydrangeas?

prune hydrangeas in the summer deadhead them

The question: can you choose the best month of the year for trimming these bushy flowers, often confuses gardeners. The answer to a great degree depends on the type of hydrangea you have. There are many situations when it’s recommendable to prune these flowering bushes in the summer. The varieties of this colorful shrub bloom on old wood or on new wood, and knowing this difference is key for timing your pruning properly:

Species blooming on old wood. These are, for instance, the well known big leaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla). Their ideal time for pruning is promptly after they have stopped to flower. This usually happens in late spring to early summer, around the months of June and July. Trimming them lately is a risk of compromising the possible flower buds for the next year.
Types that bloom on new wood. Alternatively, species, which flower on new wood like the panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata), is recommendable to be pruned also during the summer. They form new stems each year, therefore trimming them in late winter or early spring, prior to new growth appears, is able to energize their blooming potential for the coming season.

Read also: Things Hydrangeas Hate the Most: A Practical Guide to Abundant Blooms

Can I Prune Hydrangeas in the Summer?

prune hydrangeas in the summer cut off the faded flowers

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Summer pruning can be a great approach for keeping the stability and healthy appearance of your hydrangeas. Though, the timing of the trimming may vary based on the type of the flowering bush you have. For species, which form flowers on old wood, such as big leaf hydrangeas, it should be noted that any trimming you do in the summer might reflect negatively on the next year’s flowering. To minimize this risk, prune these species shortly after they have stopped blooming, leaving enough time for new buds to grow. When trimming the bushes in the summer, concentrate on cutting faded flowers and dead or infested wood. This kind of trimming, known as deadheading, stimulates the plant to put its power into new stems and possibly even grow in a second set of flowers later in the season. Cut the spent blooms just above a set of healthy leaves or buds to make them branching and develop new flowers.

When Should I Cut Back My Endless Summer Hydrangea?

can i prune my hydrangea in the summer with care carefully (1)

Endless Summer hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are specific species of big leaf bushes group of plants, famous for their ability to bloom on both old and new wood. This capability gives gardeners more flexibility, for instance, it’s desirable to prune hydrangeas also through the summer months. For Endless Summer types, you should apply the following approach:

In late winter to early spring: In regions with harsh winters, protect your flowering bushes by leaving the faded flower heads on the plant throughout the cold months. These not trimmed old blooms are able to provide some kind of insulation to the buds under them. In late winter or beginning of spring, when the heaviest of the frost has passed, you can cut away any dead or infested wood.
Throughout the summer: Since Endless Summer species of these flowering bushes can bloom on both old and new wood, you can also perform some slight trimming in the summer after the first stage of flowering. The deadheading will help for the appearance of new stems, and possibly promote a second stage of blooms lately in the season.

Is it Good to Prune Hydrangeas in Late Summer?

can you prune limelight hydrangeas in the summer only the faded blooms

Late summer pruning is a practice that should be applied cautiously, especially for plants, which flower on old wood. When fall is closer, the blooming bushes begin to form their flower buds for the next year. Pruning in the last phase of summer or early fall on these species, like big leaf varieties, can accidentally cut these future buds, which will result in reduced blooming potential for the following season. However, for plants that bloom on new wood, late summer trimming is likely to be a valuable option. This is the case of Panicle hydrangeas, for instance, which is good to be trimmed in late summer to shape the appearance, cut out faded blooms, and maintain its height. This timing gives sufficient time for new stems to develop before the winter months.

prune hydrangeas in the summer stimulate the next buds'development

Read also: How to Save an Overheated Hydrangea? The Top Tips to Revive Your Plants and Bring Them Back to Life

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