When to prune Annabelle Hydranga when leaving for the winter.

Asked October 31, 2017, 12:19 PM EDT

We are leaving this week and will not return until the first or second week of May. Should I prune my Annabelle Hydranga now or wait until May? If I prune now, how much should I cut off? If I prune in May how much should I prune off? Thank you for your help.

Wright County Minnesota pruning shrubs annabelle hydrangea pruning horticulture

2 Responses

Thank you for the question. Here in Minnesota, we like the winter interest the dried hydrangea flower heads provide, so we often recommend waiting to prune hydrangeas until late winter / early spring. 'Annabelle' hydrangeas bloom on new wood meaning they bloom on the new seasonal growth (grows up from the base of the plant). Therefore, we often cut them down to the ground in early spring. This will provide the largest flowers and sturdy stems. If you want smaller flowers, cut them back to 1-2 ft. Make your cut just above a healthy bud. Here is a very good video. Since you are leaving and won't enjoy the flower heads this winter (or don't have a neighbor that would enjoy them) you can cut them back now. If you wait until May to cut them back, there's a chance that new growth will have started which when pruned, would eliminate flower buds.

Thank you for contacting Extension.

Thank you very much for your response, it was very helpful. I really appreciate it.