Wondering how to dry hydrangeas? Known for its beautiful blooms and leafy foliage, the much-loved hydrangea can be seen in planting schemes far and wide thanks to its easy-to-grow qualities and long-lasting color.
The handsome shrubs, which come in all colors from blue to white and pink to green, are often used as border plants in gardens as they bloom throughout the summer and into the fall.
Deadheading is an important step in pruning hydrangeas, and knowing how to do it correctly is essential to maintaining, if not enhancing, the health of your plants.
To get started, you’ll need a pair of the best pruning shears or pruning shears, like Felco’s Model 12. cutters (opens in new tab)some are good gardening gloves, and a place to hold the flower heads.
When it comes to pruning a hydrangea, you need to consider where you are pruning and the best time to do it. We spoke to him to find out all this and more National Horticulture Bureau (opens in new tab)member, Lorraine Ballato.
Ballato is the author Success with Hydrangeas, The Gardener’s Guide (opens in new tab) so he knows all the subtleties and intricacies of growing hydrangeas and keeps them at their best.
Like any of the best garden planting schemes, a pretty hydrangea can make a big difference to your outdoor space. So if you want to maintain that flower growth (and growth) and stimulate new growth – this is where the dying happens.
But when should you fix the hydrangea first? And what does it do?
Ballato tells us that ‘All pruning stimulates the plant (any plant) and hydrangeas should be left alone after about August 1.’
“If this is done at the wrong time, the gardener can do more harm than good. In the last few weeks of the season, they work on preparing flower buds for next year. Distracting them by pruning prevents them from forming these buds and going dormant.
‘If you must die, do it before the flower fades and stop dying until early August. Just know that when you lose your head, you’re probably missing out on some fantastic color changes later in the season, as many hydrangea blooms in pinks, greens, lavenders, etc. turns into soft shades. It’s called “antique season” and it’s amazing! In addition, many new hydrangeas intentionally change color from pale green to white, pink, and rose as the season progresses.
How to kill hydrangeas
There are many types of hydrangea. Hydrangea macrophylla, which grows most often in yards, looks like lacecaps and mopheads. You can also see the types of climbing. But whether you’re growing flowers in your front or back yard, you can follow the same steps.
1. Make sure you have clean and sharp branches
If you want to get the perfect cut every time, Ballato explains, ‘You should have a set of sharp pruners and disinfectant to clean your cuts as you go from plant to plant.’
This will prevent rusting on the blades of your pruners and prevent any infection from spreading from plant to plant.
2. Cut the hydrangea leaves
Are the leaves on your hydrangeas starting to grow out of control? Do they seem a little unruly? Or did they start taking up more space than you wanted?
Then why not cut off any leaves and unwanted leaves growing on your bush?
“You can start anywhere in the plant,” Ballato said. ‘It does not matter. But it makes a difference where the stem is cut.’
3. cut off the head of your hydrangea
Now you are ready to prune your plant.
When you cut off the head of any hydrangea, make the cut directly below the flower. Ballato explains: ‘Look for the first set of opposite leaves and cut directly above that set.’
What if you don’t kill hydrangeas?
Worried about cutting off the head of your bush and doing more harm than good? Don’t panic. According to Ballato, refusing to decapitate your hydrangea is not a bad thing.
He says, “In fact, gardeners who leave flowers open show interest in their gardens in the winter because snow and ice can catch the sun and just make it shine. Also, the dead flower acts as an umbrella to protect the rest of the plant from harsh winter frosts and winds.’
Can you cut hydrangeas for bouquets?
Ballato says, ‘Cutting fresh flowers for bouquets is definitely on your agenda for late July. Flowers will decorate your home or office in any way. Maybe a bouquet will brighten someone’s day. For these bouquets, you will probably cut the stem further. As already discussed, be sure to cut above a pair of opposite leaves.’