Hydrangeas Ready For Grooming

This florist hydrangea needs pruning to look its best at bloom time.

Remove the dead stems and those that have not put out any leaves.

Remove the stem down to slightly above the new green foliage using pruners.

All you hear is “do not prune florist hydrangeas in early spring.”  Guess what? Now is the time to do what I call dead stem removal pruning. Mine have two types of dead stems. First, those that die all the way to the crown of the plant and need to be removed completely, and second, those that have partially died back to a green shoot. For these, cut the stem slightly above the new foliage that has appeared on the stem. Once this is done, and often times by now flower buds are forming, I stand back and do a visual assessment of the plant. This is when I remove stray or awkward looking stems. While this is certainly not necessary, I like my plants to have an attractive full shape in my garden because I am not growing them for cut flowers. This is also a great time to fertilizer these plant with a good fertilizer like 15-0-15, which is recommended for most of the metro area. Keep these beauties watered and enjoy the beautiful blooms starting next month.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

3 thoughts on “Hydrangeas Ready For Grooming

  1. We fertilized with a small amount of 10-10-10 around April 1st. Would it be okay to add a small amount of 15-0-15 now?

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