Tips and tricks

Large-leaved hydrangea: pruning for winter, spring and fall

Pruning large-leaved hydrangeas in the fall is carried out for rejuvenation, preservation of an attractive appearance and for sanitary purposes. Many gardeners recommend dividing pruning into 2 stages - autumn and spring. In the middle of autumn, 2-year-old flower stalks are removed, and in the spring all other types of haircuts are carried out. Pruning is done with sharp garden shears or pruning shears; it is better to sprinkle damaged areas with wood ash immediately.

Do I need to prune a large-leaved hydrangea

Large-leaved hydrangea, like other varieties of this perennial flowering shrub, can live well without pruning. However, if you do not do a regular haircut, it will noticeably degrade the appearance of the plant. Depending on the purpose, there are several types of trimming:

  1. Sanitary - removal of shoots affected by diseases.
  2. Anti-aging - stimulates the growth of new shoots.
  3. Radically rejuvenating - complete renewal of the bush by removing a significant part of the old branches.
  4. Formative - trimming for aesthetic purposes.

This division is largely arbitrary. When gardeners are pruning large-leaved hydrangeas, they pursue several goals at once. Moreover, the procedure is carried out regularly - otherwise the neglected bush will cease to decorate the garden.

Pruning large-leaved hydrangea is required for both decorative and sanitary purposes.

Why pruning a large-leaved hydrangea

Hydrangea pruning is required, and it is carried out for different purposes:

  • maintaining a beautiful silhouette of the bush by creating the desired shape;
  • maintaining active flowering (if you remove individual shoots, the peduncles will receive more water and nutrients);
  • removal of all damaged, broken, old shoots;
  • removal of all branches affected by diseases.

The main advantage of pruning is that, thanks to the removal of old shoots, new branches start to grow at a faster pace. This has a good effect on both the appearance and health of the large-leaved hydrangea.

When to prune large-leaved hydrangeas

There are 2 terms for pruning a shrub - in spring and autumn, and among gardeners there is still no consensus about when it is better to cut a haircut:

  1. In the fall (3-4 weeks before the first frost), it is often recommended to cut only paniculate and tree hydrangea.
  2. In the spring (in March, before the juices start moving), you can cut the large-leaved variety. It is also recommended to prune all types of young hydrangeas in the spring.

It is also allowed to combine both options - for example, remove all faded inflorescences in the fall (at the end of September or mid-October), and then in the spring (at the end of March or early April) form a bush at your discretion. At the same time, you can remove all old and damaged shoots.

In the summertime, a haircut is not needed. For example, there is no need to prune large-leaved hydrangeas after flowering - it is better to wait until mid-autumn. But if an urgent case arises (a strong wind broke or broke the branches), it is better to carefully remove them by cutting off with pruning shears or garden shears. Sprinkle the cut area with ash or other disinfectant.

It is in the spring that the main pruning of large-leaved hydrangea is done.

Important! You should not cut the bush until mid-March. It is necessary to wait for the growth buds to swell, and then immediately proceed to the procedure, without waiting for their disclosure.

How to prune a large-leaved hydrangea

Pruning large-leaved hydrangea has significant features. After purchasing and planting a bush in a permanent place, pruning is not carried out for the first 2-3 years, since this is not necessary. However, old, wind-damaged shoots can also be removed from a young shrub.

The main haircut begins with older hydrangeas. To carry out correct pruning, several rules should be taken into account:

  1. The bush blooms on the shoots of the last year, so they can not be removed either in the fall or in the spring.
  2. If the shoots have been blooming for the second year in a row, they should be removed in the fall, as they will no longer produce any flowers.
  3. All other types of pruning (in order to form hydrangeas, rejuvenate and remove old, damaged shoots) must be carried out in the spring, immediately after the swelling of the growth buds.

General scheme for pruning large-leaved hydrangea in autumn and spring

Advice! One-year and two-year-old flower stalks can be easily confused, which will cut off excess shoots. Therefore, just in case, it is better to mark them, for example, tie up a thin ribbon that does not spoil the appearance.

How to prune a large-leaved hydrangea in autumn

At this time, it is necessary to remove only clearly damaged branches and 2-year-old faded shoots. The instructions for pruning large-leaved hydrangeas in the fall are quite simple for both beginners and experienced gardeners:

  1. Take scissors or pruning shears, disinfect in a special tool - for example, a 2% solution of potassium permanganate.
  2. Completely remove all 2-year-old flower stalks - next year they will no longer bloom. Slices can be made at right angles.
  3. Sprinkle all cuts with wood ash or crushed charcoal.

Advice! If there is no ash on hand, you can apply a weak solution of potassium permanganate, any fungicide (agent to fight fungi), or sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

How to prune a large-leaved hydrangea in spring

Pruning large-leaved hydrangeas for the winter is a preparatory stage before the main haircut, which is most often done in early spring.

  1. Inspect the bush and, first of all, cut off all old, diseased, damaged branches at a right angle.
  2. Remove frost-damaged tips on healthy shoots - this is especially important for regions with extreme winters.
  3. Leave 6-10 skeletal branches (strong, supporting shoots) completely and 3-5 last year's branches.
  4. Thin the crown - cut off all shoots that clearly spoil the shape, as well as branches growing deeper into the crown, overlapping each other.
  5. Carry out anti-aging pruning: remove all old shoots, leaving 3-4 healthy buds below. It is they who will give new flowering branches, which will be noticeably stronger than the previous ones.

Attention! Regularly every 4 years, gardeners make radical pruning of large-leaved hydrangea. To do this, you need to remove all shoots, even annual flower stalks, leaving branches no more than 45 cm long.

Thanks to stimulating pruning, the bush will be completely rejuvenated, which will have a good effect on its health and flowering.

Hydrangea is cut with pruning shears or garden shears

Caring for large-leaved hydrangea after pruning

At the time of the pruning itself, the bush is under stress, so it is better to leave it alone: ​​watering is given if necessary (complete absence of rain), and no fertilizing is applied at this time. Further care depends on the season.

After spring pruning (after 2-3 weeks), the flower is given potassium and nitrogen fertilizers, which stimulate the growth of shoots, which is especially important at the beginning of the season. You can use, for example, urea and potassium sulfate. They are taken in equal quantities (15-20 g each) and dissolved in 10 liters of water - this amount is enough for 2 bushes. Instead, fertilizer can be given slurry dissolved in water in a ratio of 1:10.

After the autumn pruning (also after 2-3 weeks), the hydrangea must not only be well fed, but also prepared for winter. The basic rules of care are as follows:

  1. The plant must be fed with superphosphate and potassium sulfate - a tablespoon per 10 liters of water. You can also give some organic matter, but if it will be used for mulching, you should not add additional fertilizer.
  2. The near-trunk circle is mulched with a layer of 5-6 cm. Humus or peat is used as mulch. The top can be additionally insulated with sawdust or pine needles. Organic matter not only retains heat well, but also provides the soil with nutrients, which will come in handy with the onset of the new season.
  3. After pruning, young bushes of large-leaved hydrangeas are best wrapped up for the winter. This can be done using agrofibre, burlap and other materials at hand. Despite the high winter hardiness of certain varieties (up to -35 degrees), in the regions of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, it is recommended to cover even adult bushes.

Important! It is necessary to apply autumn fertilizers a month before the onset of frost, but at least a week after pruning.

Based on this, it can be calculated that the haircut is carried out in mid-September, and the top dressing is given in mid-October. In the southern regions, the dates can be slightly shifted.

Proper post-pruning care ensures hydrangea blooms lush throughout the season.

Experienced gardening tips

Experienced gardeners regularly prune large-leaved hydrangeas, according to reviews and reports, they prefer to do it in early spring. Some of them get their hair cut even in July. For example, open sources describe the method of Tim Bebel, an American florist who sells hydrangeas in a specialty store.

The essence of his technique is as follows:

  1. In July, all non-flowering shoots are shortened by 1/3.
  2. In this case, only 1 lateral kidney is left, which is located closest to the ground.
  3. For the winter, all damaged and diseased branches are removed, and the left buds are carefully covered.
  4. In the spring, young powerful shoots will appear from them, which in summer will be equal to the previous ones.

Important! When pruning using this technique, the plant is regularly fed from April to August. Weekly hydrangeas provide organic matter and complex mineral fertilizers (it is better to alternate).


Pruning large-leaved hydrangeas in the fall is a fairly simple procedure: at this time, it is enough to remove only 2-year-old flowering shoots. The main types of haircuts are carried out already next year, from mid-March to early April (depending on the climatic conditions of the region).

You can visually study the method of pruning large-leaved hydrangeas in the fall in the video:

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