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Annabelle Hydrangeas offer pure white clusters of flowers, enormous in size, from June through fall. These flowers can reach up to 6 feet in height and require space to stretch. They do flower on new growth so hard pruning if necessary will not affect flowering but can lead to flower stalks that need support.
When to prune
You should prune your Annabelle hydrangea very lightly at the beginning of fall. You want to wait until the flowers have faded. If you are removing damaged, wait until the leaves fall to do so.
How to prune hydrangea annabelle
Hydrangea Annabelle pruning is similar to pruning any other variety in terms of purpose. You want to start with garden clippers that are sharp.
Be sure to sanitize the clippers to prevent the transfer of any diseases. You can leave the clippers to soak in a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for 10 minutes, then leave them in a 50/50 liquid detergent to water mixture for a final rinse.
Remove any faded flowers from the tip of each branch as well as several inches of growth. This can, from time to time, result in a second flush of blooms immediately after pruning which can be a nice surprise.
To get rid of damaged wood, cut off the dead or broken branches at least 6 inches into the healthy sections of wood. Remove any crossing branches so that they do not leave rubbing wounds as this can lead to infection and diseases.
If you want to renew the plant, you can remove the oldest stalks all the way to ground level. When you remove the oldest wood, keep going until one-third of the plant has been removed. This will encourage new wood and blooms.
When pruning, be careful not to leave unnecessary cuts or nicks in the wood, as this could leave it damaged. Keep it in a shaded area and give it extra water after.
Avoid any measure of drastic pruning. Some people believe it necessary but nothing more drastic than what has been discussed is required to prune the plant. Drastic pruning will weaken your plant and over time you may have to stake the stalks as a result.