How to prune Oakleaf hydrangeas

How to prune Oakleaf hydrangeas

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Oakleaf hydrangeas are beautiful and popular shrub for many gardens. This flowering, deciduous shrub is ideal for planting foundations, borders, hedges, or anywhere else throughout your garden. The flowers bloom in the summertime and during the fall the leaves turn beautiful colors. You can watch the color of the blooms change from the summer through the fall.

The plants don’t actually require a great deal of pruning but it is good to trim them about once a year so that the plant continues to look nice and neat. One thing to note is that with the oak leaf hydrangeas, the flowers will manifest on the previous season’s branches so you need to make sure that when you prune you do it at the appropriate time.

Oakleaf hydrangea pruning time

The plants don't actually require a great deal of pruning but it is good to trim them about once a year so that the plant continues to look nice and neat. One thing to note is that with the oak leaf hydrangeas, the flowers will manifest on the previous season's branches so you need to make sure that when you prune you do it at the appropriate time.

Hydrangea pruning time for Oak Leaf hydrangeas is right after flowering and the beginning of fall or the early winter.

When you prepare to prune your Oakleaf hydrangea you want to remove older growth. You should take approximately one-third of the total growth or less but never more. Always avoid cutting off the blossoms for next year. The Oakleaf hydrangea is going to benefit more from what is effectively a light trim compared to a heavy cut. In fact, the less pruning you do, the better.

  • When you prune, make sure that you first sanitize your pruning shears with a bleach and water solution or a natural cleanser. You want to do this in between each cut as well so that if by chance there is some sort of disease or pests on one of the branches you don’t transfer it to the other branch.
  • Find the sharpest pruning shears or scissors that you have. The sharper the better simply because very sharp implements will make a clean cut the first time whereas a dull implement might leave lots of marks in the wood and cause excessive damage leaving your hydrangea susceptible to fungus, bacteria, or pests.
  • Make cuts at the base of each branch at the point where it meets with the main stalk. If you are cutting to slightly alter the shape, always take a step back so that you can look over the entire shape and make sure that you are only pruning where necessary.
  • When you prune you should be sure to do it on all sides of the plant so that it looks well-balanced and doesn’t end up far too heavy on one end.
Group 2 are the plants that produce flowers on old growth, meaning they produce flowers on the stems from last year. These are a bit more challenging for gardeners who live in colder climates and are better for people who live in warmer areas. The most common of these include the Oakleaf hydrangea which provides beautiful fall colors for the foliage in tandem with the brightly colored flowers.

If at any point you notice dead or diseased branches or broken branches, remove those as closely to the main stem as you can. You should do this at anytime of the year. It is the only time that you want to make a cut as soon as possible. The longer you allow broken or diseased branches to remain on the plant the easier it is for diseases to enter your hydrangea and subsequently week in the overall plant.

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