Good morning! I have a few hydrangeas (I think they are the Annabelle hydrangeas) and they haven't been pruned since early last spring and still have the (now dried) blossoms. I'm not sure how to prune them--any advice? How far back should I go? The shrubs were thinning out and getting spindly, in case that is helpful. Thank you! Miranda
Ramsey County Minnesota pruning hydrangeas
You can prune any dead stalks all the way to the ground now. If you prune the green branches you will probably get few - or no blooms this year.
As far as regular maintenance pruning you have a few options:
1. After the regular blooming period is over you can prune the living stalks back by 1/2 to 2/3s. The bushes will fill out.
2. Or you may decide to prune everything back, close to the ground next winter. The next spring's growth will be slightly thicker (more stalks) and will produce blooms.
3. Or...you can prune the stalks back to about a foot from the ground next fall/winter. The resulting growth will be thicker than option #2.
I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.
Thanks so much for your help and outlining the options! One clarifying question--should I (or is it okay to) remove the old, dried blossoms)? Thanks!
Thanks so much for your help! :)