Hydrangea tips: When to cut back and how to maintain – best hacks for healthy blooms – Daily Express

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Hydrangeas are a type of shrub which typically flower between mid to late summer based on the previous year’s growth. However, keeping them well looked after is crucial for healthy blooms. What are the best care tips for hydrangeas?
Pruning stops hydrangeas from becoming woody and congested, allowing the plant to channel all of its energy into its flowers.
And there is no better time to get to work cutting back your hydrangeas than right now.
From mophead to lacecap hydrangeas, according to the Royal Horticultural Society, January and February are two of the best months to trim all varieties of the plant.
Depending on the species of hydrangea in your garden, you may need to deadhead it.
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Mophead hydrangeas, for example, are suited to having old flowers removed during the late winter and early spring.
Leaving them throughout the winter allows some frost protection for toe tender growth buds underneath.
To deadhead these blooms, cut back the stem “to the first strong, healthy pair of buds down from the faded bloom”.
For hardier varieties, such as lacecaps, old flower heads should be cut back to the second set of leaves.
This prevents seeds from developing which drains energy away from the rest of the plant.
Climbing hydrangeas should be cut back immediately after flowering.
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If your plant is well-established, it will be able to withstand a vitreous pruning session in spring.
However, be aware that cutting too much all in one go is likely to limit the flowers for the next couple of summers.
To prevent flower losses, the best way to do this is by staggering pruning over the years, gradually reducing the size of the plant.
For neglected plants or those in bad health, you can revive them by cutting all of the stems from the base.
Unfortunately, this does mean you will not see blooms until the following summer.
Most other types of hydrangea only need minimal pruning.
Focus on removing dead or over-long stems to allow the plant to spend its energy on healthier areas.Watering hydrangeasHydrangeas are most suited to receiving a decent amount of water two or three days a week, rather than watering little and often.
When you are watering them, be sure to keep the flower heads dry.
On warm days, be sure to water your hydrangea early in the morning or in the evening when the plant is resting – this will make it easier for them to hydrate.
If the leaves are drooping, the plant more than likely needs to be watered.
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Hydrangeas prefer moist soil, so ensure it does not become too dry – especially in the summer months.
You can do this by keeping on top of your watering schedule when there is little rain.
If the soil is light, you can bulk it up with moisture-retaining organic matter or by adding compost before planting.
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