Deadheading Old Hydrangea Blooms: What Time of Year is Best?

dead spring hydrangea flower
dried hydrangea on stem

Last summer was the first time I planted my own hydrangea shrubs in the yard. I planted six shrubs which were a combination of the macrophylla and paniculata variety and had flowers that were blue, white, pink and somewhat green by summer’s end.
Because hydrangeas last so long on the bush, I just let them continue to change and fade and eventually dry out on their stems. I left them alone over the winter and some of the dried heads fell off, but some stayed attached until this spring.
So when is the best time to remove the flower heads? Unlike some other perennial and annul plants, the hydrangea does not need dead-heading to flourish. The dried flowers look just fine and even add some interest against the winter snow.
But, I have decided to remove the dead flowers next Fall. My shrubs are all quite small and the snow on the flowers tended to pull the stems down and bury the stalks under all that snow. With just the stems left on the shrub, the snow should not be able to do as much damage.
So that is my plan for the end of the growing season this year.

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10 thoughts on “Deadheading Old Hydrangea Blooms: What Time of Year is Best?

  1. In our maritime climate on the West coast of British Columbia we prune our hydrangeas in the spring. Prune them down to a fat bud, leaving at least two per stem. As the plant grows new shoots, they will get strong enough to withstand the snow load. We also use the basic practice of removing any wood older than three or four years.
    Good luck with that:)

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