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cutting back hydrangeas??

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by clif10, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    It likely will not flower but it will probably live. Last year when I was building my deck I removed 2 of them and transplanted to another location and they were stressed for a few days/week. After that they were fine and actually flowered.
  2. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,421

    I cut these endless summers' back hard every year

  3. clif10

    clif10 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    boston bull, ive debated weather or not to cut that back and decided to go with the majority, i research everything i do and eveything i buy so dont compare me to a kindergarden student with shears, im 35, been in the business since i was 16, i dont go around doing things cause i have seen them done, just wondered what i could expect after cutting it back. i dont need your smart a## comments, not everyone knows it all like yourself!
  4. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    easy fella! too many landscrapers here who do the mow, trim, and blow that try to prune, remove, or "trim" woody plants, shrubs, and trees. Its a specialized field better left to experienced Arborist/Horticulturist IMO.

    I told you my feelings on hydrangeas, you don't like them....no need to bash me!

    You said you transplanted the plant, then cut 7/8 of its foliage/vascular system off, and defended it by saying your giving it a fresh start. Thats an ignorant statement and shows NO experience to me.

    I don't know EVERYTHING, noone does. But I study hard, and have a memory like an elephant.

    Good luck to you and your garden! And stop being so sensitive.
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    haha i was waiting for someone who knows what they are doing to respond. They get cut to the ground along with all ornamental grasses in early spring every year. The dead wood when uncut will appear to have buds but those buds will not survive. Cut them back!
  6. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    endless summers are different.....they bud old and new

    whats the scientific reason for cutting them back hard every year like grass?
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    Endless summer is a hearty hydrangea that is popular in the colder areas of the country. They behave differently and can be butchered to the ground every year. They dont "lose" buds like others and are capable of replacing frost bitten buds. Thats why if you cut it down you get all new growth. I dont like to look at dead wood and its an easy cut. Read an artical or two. here is one....

    For all mophead hydrangeas, the above method of pruning (Method I) will work very well. However, one may become confused when a neighbor or friend prunes his or her hydrangea in the fall or spring, and his hydrangea blooms just fine. Unlike most mophead hydrangeas, there are a few that will regenerate the bloom buds after the first set is destroyed. These hydrangeas are known as 'remontant'. They seem to be found most abundantly in gardens in more northern regions of the U.S. and Canada. Therefore, on these special hydrangeas, if the bloom buds are killed by frost or pruned off at the wrong time, they will regenerate the bloom bud and bloom as usual. ('Endless Summer' is just such a hydrangea.) To the right is a picture of a hydrangea that has this trait. It was sent to me by Donna from New Britain, CT. I don't believe she has a name for it. Donna says that she pruned this hydrangea in November, and, as we can see, it was covered in bloom the following summer.
  8. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    By the way when i say trim to the ground, i am generally speaking about removing 2/3 of the growth. So there would be a total of approx 6" or dead wood left behind. Dont go all the way to the ground. Just wanted to clear that up incase someone went out and trimmed to the dirt.
  9. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    two things........

    WHY are you pruning them? Define DEADWOOD. Is this the leafless stalks left in winter, or canes in the summer with NO foliage/buds/etc?
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    I prune them down like i have for the past 30 years successfully to not have to look at "dead wood". I have experimented in the past with not pruning and the buds on the dead wood usually fail. So insteaded of looking at dead wood until june i remove it. Is trimming it down necessary? Nope. But after 30 years of trimming them down in the spring and the occasional deadheading i seemed to grow hydrangea fit for better homes and gardens. But what do i know. I trim them down just like i do ornamental grasses. Is it necessary to trim ornamental grasses? nope. I would take some pics for you but its the wrong time of year.

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