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Deadheading Hydrangeas: The Ultimate Guide


deadheading hydrangeas
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Hydrangeas are some of the most beautiful and popular flowering plants out there. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and they can be used in a number of different ways in your landscaping. However, if you want your hydrangeas to look their best and continue to thrive year after year, it's important to know how to deadhead them properly.

What is Deadheading?

Deadheading is the process of removing spent blooms from a plant in order to promote new growth and encourage the plant to produce more flowers. When you deadhead a hydrangea, you remove the old, faded blooms from the plant so that new buds can form and the plant can continue to grow and bloom.

When Should You Deadhead Your Hydrangeas?

The best time to deadhead your hydrangeas will depend on the type of hydrangea you have. Here's a quick guide to when you should deadhead each type of hydrangea:

Bigleaf Hydrangeas

Bigleaf hydrangeas should be deadheaded as soon as the flowers to fade. This usually happens in mid-summer. You can simply snip off the old blooms with a pair of pruning shears, taking care not to damage the healthy leaves or buds.

Panicle Hydrangeas

Panicle hydrangeas should be deadheaded in the fall, after the plant has finished blooming for the season. You can either remove the entire flower head or just the individual blooms, depending on your preference.

Smooth Hydrangeas

Smooth hydrangeas can be deadheaded any time during the growing season, but it's best to do it in early summer. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers later in the season.

How to Deadhead Your Hydrangeas

Deadheading a hydrangea is a fairly simple process, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that you don't damage the plant or hinder its growth. Here's a step-by-step guide to deadheading your hydrangeas:

Step 1: Wait Until the Blooms to Fade

Before you deadheading your hydrangeas, you need to wait until the blooms to fade. This usually happens in mid-summer for bigleaf hydrangeas and in the fall for panicle hydrangeas.

Step 2: Identify the Old Blooms

Once the blooms have ed to fade, identify the old blooms that need to be removed. These will be the ones that are no longer vibrant and have ed to turn brown or green.

Step 3: Use Pruning Shears to Snip Off the Old Blooms

Using a pair of pruning shears, snip off the old blooms just above the first set of healthy leaves or buds. Be careful not to cut into the healthy part of the plant, as this can cause damage and inhibit growth.

Step 4: Dispose of the Old Blooms

After you've removed the old blooms, dispose of them properly. You can either compost them or throw them away.

Tips for Deadheading Hydrangeas

Here are a few additional tips to help you deadhead your hydrangeas successfully:

Tip 1: Deadhead Regularly

To keep your hydrangeas looking their best, you should deadhead them regularly throughout the growing season. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers and prevent it from becoming too leggy or overgrown.

Tip 2: Don't Deadhead Too Late in the Season

If you wait too long to deadhead your hydrangeas, you may inadvertently remove the buds that the plant needs to produce flowers next year. Make sure to deadhead early enough in the season to avoid this problem.

Tip 3: Use Clean Pruning Shears

Make sure to use clean pruning shears when deadheading your hydrangeas. Dirty pruning shears can spread disease and damage the plant.

Tip 4: Consider Leaving Some Blooms on the Plant

While deadheading is important for promoting new growth and encouraging the plant to produce more flowers, you may want to consider leaving a few blooms on the plant if you like the way they look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Deadhead My Hydrangeas in the Winter?

A: No, it's not recommended to deadhead your hydrangeas in the winter. The plant needs its spent blooms to protect the new buds from frost and cold temperatures.

Q: Will Deadheading My Hydrangeas Help Them Bloom More?

A: Yes, deadheading your hydrangeas can help them bloom more by promoting new growth and encouraging the plant to produce more flowers.

Q: Should I Deadhead My Hydrangeas Every Year?

A: Yes, deadheading your hydrangeas every year is recommended to promote healthy growth and ensure that the plant continues to produce vibrant blooms.

Q: Can I Deadhead My Hydrangeas with my Fingers?

A: While you can technically deadhead your hydrangeas with your fingers, it's recommended to use pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant or spreading disease.

Q: Can Deadheading My Hydrangeas Cause Damage to the Plant?

A: Deadheading your hydrangeas is generally safe and won't cause damage to the plant if correctly. However, if you cut into the healthy part of the plant, you may cause damage that can inhibit growth.


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