How To Trim Endless Summer Hydrangeas For Winter

For those of us who live in northern climes with more severe winters, The Endless Summer series represents a milestone in hydrangea breeding.

Older hydrangea kinds only produced flowers on old wood or stems that had grown the previous year. All flowers for the following season were gone once that growth was destroyed due to harsh winter circumstances, damage, or unintentional autumn trimming.

The plants in the Endless Summer series are significantly more adaptable in the environment because they bloom on both new and old wood. The plants won’t generate many, if any, buds on the growth of the current season, though, if the plants are not properly nourished in the spring.

Any Endless Summer variety will grow best in an easterly direction or in a spot in the garden that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. To make a richer soil that will store nutrients and fertilizers better and retain more moisture, use a decent compost.

Use Plant-tone and granular lime for purple to pink blossoms or Holly-tone and holly for blue flowers when fertilizing your Endless Summer Hydrangeas in the spring.

We advise fertilizing in April, May, and June with 1 cup of fertilizer for every foot of branch spread for the optimum flowering. For instance, 9 cups of fertilizer would be applied over a three-month period to a plant that is 3 feet broad. After this time, fertilizer shouldn’t be used to plants.

Continual Summer Fall is not the time to prune hydrangeas. Rather, only prune them in May. This will guarantee that the flower buds that survived the winter have opened.

Plants marked with a number sign (#) and a number are generally the same size as gallon pots; for example, #2 is equivalent to a 2 gallon pot, #3 to a 3 gallon pot, and so on. These plants are offered for sale in pots.

Plants with a height (such as 5-6′) give an estimate of the plant’s present height.

Plants that are measured in inches (such as 2.5″) are identified by their caliper, or trunk width.

Plants are typically larger when measured by caliper (inches) than when assessed by height (feet).

How are Endless Summer hydrangeas prepared for the winter?

The first hydrangeas to bloom on new growth and have the capacity to rebloom all summer long are called “Endless Summer” varieties. This unusual plant will need special maintenance.

Follow these suggestions if you’ve introduced one of these wonderful plants to your landscape to ensure that “Endless Summer” remains the highlight of your yard for many years to come.

The following is advised to ensure overwintering success in the first year:

  • After August 15th, cease all fertilizer applications in order to prepare the plant for winter.
  • Till the ground freezes in the fall, keep the soil moist.
  • Apply a four-inch layer of organic mulch over the plant (wood mulch, leaves, etc.). It is not necessary to trim back or cover all stems all the way to the tip.

When entirely dormant (about November 30), or at the same time as you cover perennials in your garden, covering should be done.

  • When the ground is no longer frozen in the spring, you should re-plant your perennials. The plant will expand from its root system and any old branches that made it through the winter.
  • Be tolerant. Up until the late spring heat spurs the plant to develop rapidly, growth will be gradual.
  • The old branches can be cut back to a finger’s width above the fresh, green growth once you notice it.
  • Watch your plant develop and blossom while you relax; depending on your environment, this should happen around the middle of July.

The Endless Summer Hydrangea is quite tolerant and won’t suffer from being neglected or clipped improperly. In actuality, it’s preferable to leave young, recently planted bushes alone. Your Endless Summer will bloom on both old and new wood, unlike other hydrangea varieties (branches that grew last year and new branches from this year).

The fact that this hydrangea will continue to form buds and bloom throughout the season is another distinctive quality; deadheading the spent flowers will promote this. You won’t harm the plant by cutting the blooms; in fact, you’ll stimulate the plant to produce more blossoms. Feel free to dry or utilize the blooms fresh cut in vases. The optimal time to prune is in the spring.

How much should Endless Summer hydrangeas be pruned back in the fall?

Many plants can be rejuvenated through pruning, resulting in lush new foliage and gorgeous blossoms. An example of a plant that gains from this method is Endless Summer Hydrangeas. Pruning them in the early spring will help them get ready for the season. A little effort today will result in this year’s growth being strong. Make sure your hydrangeas are of the Endless Summer type as it’s one of the rare breeds that blooms the year after it’s been clipped. Typically, pink- or blue-flowered Endless Summer Hydrangeas are the ones that bloom for the majority of the summer. The soonest after it finishes blooming is the ideal time to prune your hydrangea for shape and size if it is not an Endless Summer or if you are unsure of its variety. By doing this, you’ll avoid unintentionally eliminating the buds it will set for the next year.

The best tools for the operation are a pair of clean bypass pruners, which operate similarly to scissors. Cleaning pruners using common household cleansers like Lysol can help stop the spread of disease. Make an angle away from the bud and trim your hydrangeas back to about one foot from the ground. A lovely shape can be achieved by gently raising the center. One of these branches should be cut off if any other branches are crossing it.

Throughout the growing season, pruning can be done to get rid of any diseased, harmed, or dead growth. Any pruning done outside of these times will expose your plant to stress and disease risks.

How much of a winter pruning should be done on hydrangeas?

If and when you prune is the key to happy, healthy hydrangea flowers. Of course, fertilizing and offering the ideal environment have a lot to recommend them. However, if you don’t prune properly, your efforts will be in vain. Deadheading is not the same as trimming. Pruning refers to more drastic cutting to preserve shape or remove dead growth. However, feel free to discard spent blossoms or cut fresh ones to use in arrangements.

Hydrangeas can bloom on either fresh wood or old wood, depending on the species. The wood from which they blossom determines whether and when to prune.

Old wood-blooming hydrangeas do not require pruning and benefit from it. They’ll blossom more abundantly the next season if you leave them alone. But feel free to deadhead or gently thin. Just keep in mind that while new growth may appear, it won’t bloom until the following season. In our region, four different species blossom on aged wood. Additionally, they are not limited to the hues displayed here.

Climb using suckers. On your wall or trellis, resist the desire to remove the dormant growth.

The flower heads are more conical in appearance, and the leaves are large and resemble oak leaves. It’s a pleasant surprise for a hydrangea when its leaves turn reddish-orange in the fall.

They are very comparable to lacecap types, but smaller and with more compact leaves.

Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring on hydrangeas that bloom on new wood. Trim back to two feet to prune to shape. The next season’s blossoms are produced by strong, fresh growth that is encouraged by trimming. In our region, there are two types that bloom on fresh wood. They are also not restricted to the colors displayed.

Oakleaf variants are not included in cone-shaped blooms. Keep the blooms on throughout the winter to provide interest; even dried out, they are quite lovely.

regarded as a wild kind. They often have smaller blooms and leaves than Bigleaf variants and are completely white. They enjoy full sun and can grow very tall.

Knowing whether or when to prune now will help you avoid the disappointment of a hydrangea that doesn’t blossom. Don’t forget that a robust shrub will produce more gorgeous blossoms if it has well-draining soil and good organic fertilizer. Come on in, and we’ll show you where to go to develop your green thumb.

Does new wood or old wood produce blooms for Endless Summer hydrangeas?

Old wood is the growth of a plant from an earlier growing season. Endless Summer hydrangeas produce big, numerous, lovely blooms year after year by blooming on both old and new wood.

Cut back these shrubs in late winter before new growth begins

Shrubs that flower on young wood typically start blooming later than old-growth bloomers, beginning in June and continuing until the first frost, because they need to grow and set buds the same year that they bloom. As long as you avoid trimming when the flower buds are opening, these shrubs are understanding if it is not done at a specific period.

1. Trim the flowers all the way back for larger blooms.

These bushes can be completely removed from the ground in late winter or the beginning of spring. If cut severely like this every year, smooth hydrangeas will produce much larger flowers, but many gardeners prefer smaller blooms on stronger stems.

2. Maintain an old growth foundation to lessen flopping

Especially after watering from above or after a heavy storm, the branches of some hydrangeas frequently topple over from the weight of their blooms. Cutting the stems to a height of 18 to 24 inches will help to reduce this flopping by creating a strong framework for fresh growth.

Janet Carson is the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s horticulture specialist.

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Before winter, what should you do with hydrangeas?

Protecting flower buds is the aim of winter hydrangea care. The simplest approach is to pile 12 inches or so of mulch made of chopped-up leaves or bark around the base of the plant. After the ground freezes in the late fall, set the mulch pile there. Plants can then be exposed in the spring, when the temperature starts to stay above freezing.

How are Endless Summer hydrangeas cared for?

Endless Summer hydrangeas appreciate dappled shade in the afternoon and morning sun. It may be too hot and intense for the blossoms to form if they are placed in full sun. Additionally, excessive fertilization and watering of your plants can prevent blooming.

Should you deadhead Endless Summer hydrangeas?

According to Meyers, the species of hydrangeas will determine the optimal time to prune them. When the initial set of flowers emerges from the previous year’s growth in the spring on bigleaf hydrangeas like Endless Summer, she advises, “deadheading to remove the faded blossoms before the next flush arises.” As long as the cut is made before July or August, when the plant starts to create buds for the blooms of the following year, you can make a deeper cut for a longer stem. She advises removing the faded blooms off smooth hydrangeas as soon as they turn green in order to guarantee a second flush of smaller flowers in the fall.

Which month should hydrangeas be pruned?

Depending on which group the plant belongs to, the timing and extent of pruning are determined:

Advice on Pruning for Group 1:

  • As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder in the late summer and fall, buds for the following year’s blooms start to form.
  • Typically, removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches is all that is required to preserve shape, size, and a healthy plant. Otherwise, gentle pruning ought to be practiced.
  • In the summer, trimming should begin as soon as flowering ends, but no later than August 1. Pruning should not be done in the fall, winter, or spring because you risk removing fresh buds.
  • Tip-pruning the branches in the spring as the leaves begin to appear can promote more numerous, smaller flower heads as opposed to fewer, larger flower heads.

Advice on Pruning for Group 2:

  • On the growth of the current year, flower buds form.
  • Early in the spring, as the leaves are starting to emerge, prune.
  • Just above a node, prune branches back by half to a third.
  • After that, prune any fragile or spindly branches.
  • Minimal trimming encourages huge, strong bushes with many of tiny flower heads in H. arborescens. Hard pruning between 12 and 18 inches from the ground, or even all the way down, will result in fewer but larger flower heads that may flop if unsupported.
  • For H. paniculata, remove the surrounding smaller wood while leaving the larger stems in order to establish a sturdy foundation.

Pruning may be connected to flower head size. Shoots will grow more vigorously and flower heads will be bigger and fewer with more rigorous trimming. Smaller but more numerous flower heads may result from less aggressive or tip pruning.

Consideration of hydrangeas’ mature size is the best piece of advise. Place them in a location where they won’t outgrow and won’t need a lot of pruning to keep them in check. Hydrangeas don’t need to be pruned precisely or often; as long as dead wood is removed, they will remain healthy and continue to develop and bloom.

Do hydrangeas get pruned back in the fall?

Maintaining your hydrangea can greatly impact its blooms the next year. When given enough time and the right care, hydrangeas are resilient and can recover from virtually anything.

See our comprehensive growth guide for hydrangeas here after reading the fall maintenance advice below!

Because some hydrangea kinds do not like to be clipped in the fall, it is crucial to first identify your variety.

If you have hydrangeas in your garden, you should be aware that there are two different varieties. Both types develop blossom buds, one on new wood and the other on old wood. If a stem has remained on the plant since the previous summer, it is referred to as old wood. Stems that form this season are considered new wood. The majority of hydrangea species that are found in gardens are old wood bloomers, including as Mophead, Big Leaf, Lacecap, and Oakleaf types. Check your variety once more at the neighborhood garden center.

Hydrangeas can grow for many years without being pruned, but it’s time to cut them if they become unkempt, take over a portion of the garden, or stop producing new growth. But when should they be pruned?

After the summer blooms on old wood bloomers or fall blooming hydrangeas, prune them. Old, woody hydrangeas that are pruned in the fall will not bloom the following season.

Hydrangeas that bloom in the summer or those that do so on fresh wood are clipped in the fall, after their flowering season has ended.

Early in the season, hydrangeas are brilliant and colorful, but they are difficult to preserve after being cut. Once they begin to dry on the bush, they are simpler to maintain.

Your plant will have weak, wispy growth near the bottom. Reduce them. They will consume energy that could be used by your plant to produce blossoms.

On your stems, look for any dead stumps. They won’t have sprung any buds or new wood from the original old wood. To totally remove the dead stumps, cut them to the ground at the base. This will give the new growth below a chance to flourish.

To make way for new buds to emerge, old and dead blossoms must be eliminated. To promote flowers for the following summer, remove the flower head immediately above the first few leaves.

Observe the plant’s shape from a distance. The shrub should be pruned into the shape you desire; a spherical is the traditional shape, but you can prune it however you like!

Clean up any leftover debris from the plant’s foundation. Make sure your soil is devoid of all weeds, dead flowers, and leaves.

Feed your blue hydrangeas with Holly-tone to maintain acidic soil and vibrant flowers. Alternatively, choose Flower-tone.

Feed your hydrangeas two to three times each week from spring till fall for the greatest results.

Your hydrangeas will remain healthy and vibrant for many years if you follow these simple instructions.