In the Grow

Early spring pruning will tame this hydrangea

March 1, 2019

Overgrown panicle hydrangea
Photo Credit: T.B., Morgan County

Q: I have a hydrangea that is overgrown. It’s falling over and is too tall and wide. I would like it not to block the window. But I don’t know how/when/how much to prune to a smaller size. — T.B., Morgan County

A: Pruning time and technique depends on the particular species of hydrangea. Yours appears to be the panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata. Panicle hydrangea blooms on new wood, meaning the flower buds are produced on new stems produced each year. So the best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before the new growth begins. Since you want to overall reduce the size of the plant, you can hard prune down near the bottom of the stems.  Just make sure you cut back to just above healthy buds as these will give rise to the new stems.