10.13.2011

Pruning...

hydrangeas
This photo was taken this summer, after the roof was finished, but before we actually owned the house. I'm sharing it because the hydrangeas are today's project. I read that, in order to encourage growth if they're very old, or if they're out of control, you should prune them back in the Fall. They obviously thrived on neglect, but they're enormous and something's living in there. Here's a shot from the yard. ENORMOUS!

hydrangeasI have no idea what's living in there, but Velma the cat is afraid of it and, by default, so am I. I'm pretty certain that they're Annabelle hydrangeas and have read a bit about maintaining them. Any hydrangea-lovers out there with expert advice?

Thanks to Wolfie & the Sneak for sponsoring today's post

7 comments:

curlygirlpress said...

The cat's afraid of the Hydrangea Creature? Scary indeed. My poor little hydrangea has never bloomed again since I got it, so I'm no use in the advice dept. Best of luck!

shannon said...

I planted tiny hydrangeas 4 years ago. I have experimented on pruning vs. not pruning. The ones that I haven't pruned are now about 14 ft tall by 18 ft wide--no kidding. They are enormous with enormous blooms. The ones I cut back are still very small. So if you are looking for smaller bushes, I would recommend cutting back because my blooms are the happiest blooming off of old stalks. Yours look beautiful!

Rchie, Queen of the Lads said...

Absolutely amazing! They're beautiful. I love overgrowing bushes/ flowers but at the same time I love cutting it all back nice and neat. Can't wait to see a pic when you've given it a big haircut! Oh and sorry, no advice here either.

apaperbear said...

Hydrangea bloom on this year's growth. You could prune back hard but just be aware you will probably NOT get any flowers if you do next year. I bascically only cut off the blooms from this year on mine.

emilie said...

Hi!

Annabelle hydrangeas are in a different class than other types of hydrangeas, which means they bloom on new wood and old wood. So, that means you can cut them to the ground if you want to, and they will come back and bloom with gusto next spring.

I have several Annabelles and have tried different approaches over the years - cutting all the way, cutting to 18" to allow stems to get sturdier from year to year, etc. No matter what I do they tend to flop from the weight of the giant flowers. I know some people put cages around before they leaf out in the spring, but I've never gotten my act together in time to try that. If you can allow them the space to do what they do best (flop), my opinion is that is the easiest, and they do look pretty that way. It helps to extend the bed around them (with mulch/etc.) out past the "flopping zone" so it's not such a challenge to mow the lawn next to them. Garden Web forums are a great resource for plant advice too.

I would say if it's been a long time since they were cared for, it would be good to take them all the way down this fall and clean everything up. It also helps reduce diseases and fungus that might be lurking in there.

Hope that helps!

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thank you all so much for the great advice! I've pruned them waaayyyyy down and can't wait to see what they look like next year. I'll be sure to share lots of photos. :)
x,
Abbey

Moparbrownstoner said...

You can cut them down to the ground and they will be beautiful. But they won't be smaller. We pruned ours a couple years ago (late -- in the spring). No flowers the next year but beautiful blooms this year. The plant is now the same size it was originally. Did you find the scary creature?

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