Last Call To Prune New Wood Flowering Hydrangeas

This is your last call to prune new wood flowering hydrangeas. If you haven’t cut back your hydrangeas that bloom on this year’s stems — your new wood bloomers — you are running out of time. We’re talking about ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas, and all those beautiful Invincibelle® Spirits, Incrediballs®, and other hydrangea arborescens. New wood flowering hydrangeas also include your panicle hydrangeas like Quick Fire®, and Pinky Winky®. By now they have broken dormancy just about everywhere and are setting up their flower buds for this year like this ‘Annabelle’
Last call to prune this 'Annabelle' hydrangea

This ‘Annabelle’ has already leafed out and needs to be pruned ASAP.

or this ‘Limelight’.

'Limelight' hydrangea in mid spring needs pruning.

Panicle hydrangea that needs to be pruned ASAP.


Making the time to cut and shape those plants keeps them healthy. BUT, if you can’t get around to it with graduations and all the other things in your life, don’t stress about it.

This photo shows what a panicle hydrangea looked like one year when I didn’t get around to either deadheading or pruning.

Panicle hydrangea that wasn't pruned.

New flower emerging on unpruned panicle hydrangea.

The plant just went ahead and flowered anyway. Of course once I saw that happening, I went out and cut off the ugly old dead flowers so the pretty new ones could develop and show off. But the flowers that year were smaller and less vigorous. 

This is an excellent demonstration of how pruning can be a good thing. New wood blooming hydrangeas are healthier and more robust when they get an annual haircut. If you don’t know what or how to cut, check out my earlier post for details.


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