When Do Old Wood Hydrangeas Bloom

Some hydrangea species, known as “old wood,” bloom on growth from the previous year. The flower buds that will bloom in the upcoming summer are present in this old wood. We would have a plant without flowers this year if we pruned in the winter or spring because we would lose the flower buds. As a result, many cultivars undergo pruning following summer blooming.

The young growth that appears in the springtime bears flower buds when hydrangeas that bloom on new wood are present. These plants can be clipped in late winter or early spring before new growth starts because the buds are not present during the winter months.

What can I do to make my ancient wood hydrangea bloom?

Remove up to one-third of the older living stems from the hydrangea each summer, cutting them all the way to the ground. The plant will recover as a result. Before the end of July, if required, prune back the plant to regulate its growth and give the buds time to grow. Usually, the plant grows back to its previous size right away.

How can you tell if the wood in your hydrangea is ancient or new?

Because of its stunning blossoms and general ease of maintenance, hydrangeas are a particularly popular landscape plant. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding hydrangea maintenance and how to keep them looking their best. We discussed change-color hydrangeas previously, so we’ll focus on trimming now.

Despite the fact that they are all related, their growth and blooming patterns differ. Some hydrangeas exhibit pH-dependent color changes, and some flower on this year’s new growth (referred to as new wood) while others do so on last year’s growth (referred to as old wood). Everything relies on the type of hydrangea you have, so it’s important to know what you have and to keep the plant information card close at hand.

When to Prune Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas that flower on old wood can be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. Plants that bloom on new wood can be pruned in late winter or early spring. Hydrangeas can be divided into six different categories: Macrophylla (Bigleaf), PeeGee (Paniculata), Oakleaf (Quercifolia), Smooth (Arborescens), Mountain (Serrata), and Climbing (Anomala petiolaris).

The majority of hydrangeas don’t actually need to be pruned. They will still grow happily and have a lovely appearance if you don’t prune them, but you can prune them to regulate the shape, manage the size, and eliminate dead wood.

Bigleaf, Oakleaf, Climbing, and Mountain Hydrangeas bloom on old wood and can be clipped as soon as the flowering period is through before they start pushing out buds for the following year.

To regulate the size and shape of the plant and promote new development, you can remove a few of the older, thicker stalks each year. The next season’s blossoms will be abundant if you only remove a couple of the oldest and heaviest stalks.

Smooth and panicle hydrangeas can be pruned in late winter or early spring and bloom on new wood. A little pruning in the spring may promote more blossoms. These varieties survive very rigorous pruning to manage the growth of the shrub.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that, in all honesty, hydrangeas don’t require any pruning. They can be deadheaded or not. They can be pruned or not. Keep pruning to a minimum if you want big shrubs.

How Can I Tell If My Hydrangea Blooms on Old or New Wood?

The quickest method is to look for your variety’s name on the tag. However, if you’ve lost the tag or it’s become completely unreadable, there are a few other indicators that can tell you if your hydrangea blooms on new or old wood.

Your hydrangea probably blooms on old wood, and spring pruning would have eliminated the buds, if you pruned it in the spring and it did not bloom that summer. Your hydrangea blooms on new wood if you cut it severely in the spring and it still blooms that year.

When your plant is blooming, inspect it; you ought to be able to tell the difference between old and new wood. New wood will be considerably more flexible, supple, and should still have a greenish tinge, but old wood should be stiffer, tougher, thicker, and more grey or brown in color.

Additionally, you can examine your hydrangea in the fall to see if any buds have already begun to emerge. It blooms on old wood if there are already buds on the branches. If there aren’t any buds in the fall, it will force them out the following spring on new growth.

If your shrub isn’t blooming, don’t get discouraged; just leave it alone for a couple of years. Sometimes a variety of environmental conditions might influence the creation of blooms. It might benefit from some time alone if nothing else in order to begin blooming the following season. If that doesn’t work, you can have other problems with the blooms like irrigation, sunlight, or soil conditions.

Bloom on old wood: prune in late summer or early fall after blooming

Hydrangeas with oakleaf leaves prefer to be left alone so they can grow. They only need the occasional removal of dead or broken branches, which is very little pruning. After the plant has finished flowering, prune it to improve its shape.

Many customers ask why their hydrangeas aren’t blooming. The primary reasons hydrangeas don’t bloom are incorrect pruning, bud damage due to winter and/or early spring weather, location and too much fertilizer.

There are hydrangea kinds that bloom on either fresh or old wood, or even both. Both new and old wood are the growth of the following year (spring), respectively.

  • Consider that this year, you bought a Nikko Blue Hydrangea. For the next year, Nikko’s produce blooms in the fall. Your Nikko is therefore creating blooms this fall that will blossom in the spring.
  • Therefore, you wouldn’t want to completely prune your Nikko Blue Hydrangea this fall while you are pruning your perennials. Pruning the Nikko Blue Hydrangea this fall would effectively mean cutting off your hydrangea flowers for the upcoming spring.
  • The idea behind Endless Summer, a hydrangea variety that blooms on both old and new wood, is that the plant will set blooms this fall to blossom not only in the spring of the following year, but will also keep producing blooms in the spring of the following year to extend the blossoms into the summer.
  • Once more, pruning your Endless Summer hydrangea in the fall would mean removing some of the flowers that would blossom in the spring.

The hydrangea’s plant tag will indicate whether it blooms on fresh wood, old wood, or both. It is typically preferable to wait until spring to prune your hydrangeas. As the plant grows, you’ll see stems that are fragile when bent and lack any leaves. Since these stems are dead and won’t produce any flowers, they should be clipped close to the plant’s base.

The second reason why your hydrangeas aren’t blooming is probably the weather. Buds of hydrangeas are extremely susceptible to cold. Therefore, it is a good idea to wrap your hydrangea for the winter if it is an old wood hydrangea. Keep in mind that old wood hydrangeas establish their blooms for the following spring in the fall. Therefore, you won’t have blossoms in the spring if the fall-produced buds are frozen in the winter.

You can wrap anything with regular burlap. Burlap should be wrapped around the plant and filled with mulch or leaves after the first hard frost and after the hydrangea’s leaves have dropped. In order for the buds to survive the winter and sprout the following spring, the plant receives insulation from this. Never wrap your hydrangeas in plastic. When warmer winter days arrive, the plant cannot breathe since plastic, unlike burlap, doesn’t breathe. As a result, the plant can heated to such high temperatures that it cooks within the plastic and perishes.

The second most frequent weather-related cause hydrangeas do not blossom is late spring killing frosts. We saw really chilly temperatures in April both this year and last year after beautiful spring days. When springtime temperatures drop below freezing, hydrangeas need to be covered with an old beach towel or sheet. Because of the temperature dip, there won’t be any blossoms.

The majority of hydrangeas require at least 3 to 4 hours of light per day to bloom. The best light is in the early morning, midday light is acceptable if it is dabbled light rather than beating sun, and afternoon sun is typically too hot. Check the plant label, though. Newer hydrangea cultivars are being created that can withstand more sun exposure time and sun intensity. A hydrangea in full sun will require much more watering than one in diffused light, so keep that in mind.

High nitrogen fertilizer should not be used to feed hydrangeas. Nitrogen is indicated by the first number on the fertilizer ratio. (The ratio stands for N, P, and K) For healthy leaves and general good growth, some nitrogen (N) is required; however, a ratio of 8-16-6 or any similar combination with a higher middle or phosphorus (P) value is preferred. The growth of roots and shoots is encouraged by phosphorus, which improves the blooming process.

Potash (K), the third element’s last quantity and the lowest ratio, is for plant hardiness. Because hydrangeas prefer acidic soil, they can be fertilized with fertilizers designed for such plants. Hydrangeas only require fertilizing twice a year, once in early spring and once in mid-summer. To avoid root burn, make sure the soil is always moist before applying a fertilizer.

What occurs if my hydrangea isn’t pruned?

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.

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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Do hydrangeas in blue bloom on aged wood?

With its enormous white to pink summer panicles, bright fall color, and peeling bark, this native North American shines all year long. This species distinguishes itself from the others through its size and large oak-like leaves. The oakleaf hydrangea has an imposing presence in the landscape, reaching heights of 6 to 8 feet tall and wide. In shaded settings, choose mass varieties like TaraTM Hydrangea for a dramatic effect.

Ideal Conditions for Oakleaf Hydrangeas

This species, which thrives in hardiness zones 5 through 9, tolerates full sun to part shade and looks stunning in woodland gardens and mixed borders. Oakleaf hydrangea prefers moist soils and can tolerate drought, thus it needs a place with good drainage. Mulch is beneficial to plants all year round.

Pruning Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Very little trimming is necessary for oakleaf hydrangeas. Plants flower on old wood, thus any necessary trimming to shape the plant should be done in the summer, following the plant’s flowering season. Branches that are damaged or dead can always be removed.