First Editions: Pruning Panicle Hydrangeas

Spring is the best time to prune back your panicle hydrangeas! But what the heck is a panicle-type? How do you tell them apart from the others? These hydrangeas are the ones with a triangular shape that bloom white in summer and then turn a red, pink, or parchment in fall. Something like Vanilla Strawberry™, Strawberry Sundae™ and White Diamonds® Hydrangea.
We recommend pruning these types of hydrangeas back 30-50% of the way down the established stems. It may seem like a lot, but it’s necessary to prevent flopping late in summer when the heavy flower heads are in full bloom.

Prune at a 45% angle just above a set of buds.

This type of hydrangea grows flowers in “new wood,” which means the growth that will start in spring, so you don’t have to worry about cutting off potential blooms from last year, like on some other mophead-type hydrangeas.

NOTE: If you have an older, more established panicle hydrangea that isn’t developing the big beautiful blooms that it used to, give it a good hard prune in late winter/early spring. That means cutting down to the lowest set of viable buds, which is likely between 10″ and 18″ off the ground. This will help reinvigorate the shrub.