A short guide to rejuvenating neglected Mop head and Lacecap Hydrangeas.
There are many shrubs that need to be pruned during early spring, Mop head and Lacecap Hydrangeas are included in this group. These Hydrangeas flower in mid to late summer on wood that was produced in the previous year.
Here is step by step guide to pruning these useful garden shrubs:
- Identify the new shoots from the old shoots. The new shoots are a darker brown colour than the older stems which are a pale brown-beige colour. The new shoots often grow on top of the old shoots. One of the aims of pruning these Hydrangeas is to encourage / increase the growth of new shoots from the base of the plant rather than on top of old wood.
- On a well maintained plant, all that is needed is to cut back the spent flower heads to the first strong pair of leaf buds in early spring.
- If the Hydrangea has been neglected or not properly pruned for some years, there will be a build up of older stems that constitute a high percentage of the total stems visible.
- This plant pictured above does require some rejuvenation pruning, it contains a lot of old, weak stems.
- In early spring, cut out the oldest stems to the base that do not have any young wood growing further up the stem. Keep any old stems that have good, strong, young shoots growing at the top of the stem.
- Cut back any spent flower heads to the first strong pair of buds on the stems you have decided to keep.
- The end result is a well pruned Hydrangea that has a high percentage of young stems and an open, uncongested centre.