Hydrangeas are a common plant in the South and are thus included in many home and business landscapes. Many home owners and landscapers mistakenly think the best time to prune these bushes is in February; however, this isn’t entirely true when you take a look at how these flowers develop. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, some hydrangeas bloom on “old wood” while others on “new wood.” If they are on old wood, this means the blooms are produced by buds stemming from the previous summer; buds forming on this year’s growth show up on new wood. As an example, big leaf and oak leaf bloom on old wood; smooth and Panicle hydrangeas bloom on new wood.
Pruning shrubs that bloom on old wood right after flowering will prevent the removal of the developing buds for next year. August is when the next year’s buds start to form. Shrubs on new wood would be best pruned in late winter or early spring so new blooms are encouraged. Check out these maintenance tips: