My once regular sized hydrangea has grown into a monster now impeding the fence. It needs to be dug up and divided. When is best time? Should I cut it way back first ? This job is too big for one person...but maybe I can get some help...located in West Asheville thanks. FFC
Buncombe County North Carolina
Transplanting hydrangeas is best done in the fall or spring when the plant is dormant, once temperatures are cool and leaves have dropped off.
Also since it is large and needs pruning to handle you can do this two ways.. one is to cut it way back as you ask. Without knowing the type of hydrangea you have pruning or cutting the plant back may remove flowers for next year. This publication provides a good pruning overview of the various types. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/guide-pruning-hydrangeas
Another approach is to remove just enough top and bottom to get it to a size that you can handle the shrub during transplanting.
I hope this has been helpful.