How to Prune Hydrangeas For Shorter, Bigger Blooms


Hydrangeas are some of the most popular plants found in many homes. They come in full, half, and miniature forms, and can range in color from light pink to dark purple. It’s no wonder hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowers in the world!

They bloom from early summer to late fall. However, there are some important steps to follow in order to prune hydrangeas so they can produce more blooms, grow bigger, and last longer. For those of you who are interested in planting hydrangeas in your yard, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to help you keep them looking healthy and strong.

Why do we prune hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they can be a little tricky to prune. Pruning is essential for keeping your hydrangeas healthy and looking their best. You should prune your hydrangeas at least once a year, but you may need to do it more often if they are overgrown or not blooming well. The main reason to prune your hydrangeas is to keep them in check. If you do not prune them, they will continue to grow and get larger and larger. This can ultimately lead to them not blooming well, or even not blooming at all.

Hydrangeas, like most plants, need to be pruned to maintain their health and vigor. Pruning also helps to shape the plant and directs energy to creating larger blooms.

What tools do we need to prune hydrangeas?

Pruning hydrangeas can seem daunting, but it is a relatively simple process as long as you have the right tools. You will need a pair of sturdy garden gloves, a pair of pruning shears and a hydrangea pruning saw. The gloves will protect your hands from thorns while you are working, the pruning shears will help you make clean cuts, and the saw will help you prune the larger branches. Make sure that the shears are sharp and the blade is clean so that you can make clean cuts without damaging the plant.

When is the best time to prune them?

The best time to prune your hydrangeas largely depends on the type of hydrangea you have. For bigleaf hydrangeas (the most common type), early winter before they go into dormancy is the best time. For panicle hydrangeas, late winter or early spring is best. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood (like the bigleaf and panicle hydrangeas) should not be pruned after blooming, as you will be removing the flowers for the next year. Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood (like the lacecap hydrangea), can be pruned in late winter or early spring.

Hydrangeas are actually shrubs that can be trained to grow as small trees. For this reason, they can be pruned in many different ways. However, the goal is to prune in a way that will result in shorter, bigger blooms. The most common way to prune hydrangeas is to shorten the stems by about one-third. You can also prune the roots, but that’s best done by a professional.

How to prune the hydrangeas

One of the most common questions we get about hydrangeas is how to prune them for the best blooms. The answer, like most things in life, is it depends. Hydrangeas can be pruned to be shorter or taller, with bigger or smaller blooms, depending on your preferences.

Hydrangeas come in many shapes and sizes, but most can be pruned in one of two ways: by Hard Pruning or Lilac Pruning. Hard pruning is done in in late winter or early spring, when the shrub is still dormant. This involves cutting the plant back to its desired size and shape. Lilac pruning is done in late spring or early summer, after the flowers have bloomed. This involves selectively removing branches to shape the plant and control its size.

In order to encourage blooming, you’ll need to prune your hydrangeas. This can be a little tricky, but it’s not too difficult if you follow these steps. The first step is to cut off any dead flowers or shoots. The next step is to cut back the plant by about one-third. Make sure you’re only pruning the healthy shoots, and avoid pruning the buds. Finally, cut off any branches that are growing in the wrong direction. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to encourage new blooms and keep your hydrangeas looking their best.

How often should hydrangea be pruned?

Hydrangeas blooms can be manipulated by pruning. Pruning early will promote more blooms on new growth, while pruning later in the season will create blooms on the old growth. How often you should prune your hydrangeas depends on your desired outcome. If you want a bushier plant with more flowers, then prune it lightly every year. If you want larger blooms on fewer branches, prune more aggressively every other year. Make sure to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

What do we need to know about deadheading hydrangeas?

Although you may be tempted to cut off all of the dead flowers, hold off on doing that until you’ve pruned your hydrangea. Snipping off the deadheads will encourage new blooms to form, so you’ll want to wait until after you’ve trimmed the bush. When you’re deadheading hydrangeas, make sure you cut the stem below the flower. If you cut the stem above the flower, you’ll inhibit future blooms from forming.

What do you need to know about thinning hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are notorious for being heavy feeders and for demanding a lot of water, especially during the blooming period. When you’re pruning hydrangeas, it’s important to keep these things in mind. To promote bigger blooms, you’ll want to thin out the plant by removing some of the stems. This will also help the shrub stay shorter, as opposed to growing taller and lanky. You’ll want to thin hydrangeas every year, especially when they’re young. Start by removing the thin, spindly stems and any branches that are crossing or growing in the wrong direction.

How to care for a pruned hydrangea

After you’ve pruned your hydrangea, it’s important to take care of it so that it can recover and produce beautiful blooms. Water the plant regularly and make sure the soil is moist (but not wet). You may also need to fertilize it occasionally to help it recover. If you’ve pruned your hydrangea late in the fall or winter, you may not see any blooms until the following year. But don’t worry, it will still be healthy and looking good!


Whether you’re growing hydrangeas as a garden feature or just because they look so darn pretty, it’s always nice to see your plants flourish and thrive. And with the right pruning technique, you can easily maintain the best looking shrubs all year round. It doesn’t take much effort at all: Just focus on removing dead and dying flowers for an abundant bloom that lasts through summer and beyond!