The City Magazine Since 1975

Gardening: May 2017

Gardening: May 2017
May 2017

Ask an Expert: When should I prune my overgrown hydrangea?

If your hydrangea blooms on old wood (typically early in the summer, as its flower buds were formed last year), prune right after the blossoms fade. If it blooms on new wood (generally later in the summer), make your cuts in the fall or early spring. If you have an ever-blooming variety, selectively prune branches and leave others to complete their flowering cycle. Note that most hydrangeas do not need to be pruned unless they appear overgrown or have dead or damaged branches. However, if you notice blossoms getting smaller as a plant ages, removing larger canes (the branches growing from the base) can be revitalizing. —Joan McDonald, garden editor

Gardening Tip:

Want to bring vertical interest to your garden? Think outside the trellis! Loosely wrap twine around the base of a pine tree, and let a perennial vine like Carolina jessamine climb. For annuals like moon flower, form a teepee from three pieces of bamboo, or grow them up large branches pruned from trees.