Pruning perennial hydrengea

Asked August 13, 2016, 3:41 PM EDT

Attached are photos of two hydrangea we would like to prune so as to be more of a hedge than a small tree. When is the right time to prune; what pruning is suggested to achieve more closely spaced branching to accomplish more of a hedge appearance?

Cook County Minnesota

1 Response

The shrubs in the photos appear to be a late summer flowering paniculata variety. Hydrangeas in this classification bloom on new wood and are usually pruned in late winter or early spring. They can be pruned to the ground or higher on the stems depending upon how tall you want them to grow.

Because of their flowering and branching habit, hydrangeas make attractive informal hedges but they can not be forced to produce the tight branching needed for a formal appearance.

The following primer about pruning hydrangeas may be of interest.