Here’s a question from a reader:
I bought a Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ tree in the fall of 2012. I pruned it a tiny bit as my goal is to have it grow taller. They say to prune it in late fall or late winter.
This year I had a ton of big, heavy blooms, and many of the branches drooped over.
I am wondering 2 things:
1) Should I prune back the thinner branches…and, if so, by how much? Will this actually produce sturdier branches, or make more weak ones?
2) Should all the blooms be cut off about now., and if so, just cut them to the first leaf node?
I read conflicting things, from leaving the tree alone (no pruning), to cutting it all back by a third!
I love this tree and want it taller yet sturdy enough to bear the weight of the flowers.
Thanks for your advice!
NOTE: There have been many helpful responses in the comments below. There are a lot of comments! You may have to go back a few pages to find the information you are looking for.
Here is one comment from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville:
Paniculata Hydrangeas are some of the easiest hydrangeas to care for. They can be pruned in fall, winter or spring. They bloom on new wood so you need not take too much care in where to cut. I suggest that you prune out any crossover branches and any branches that interfere with the look you are trying to maintain. With very little maintenance you will have a beautiful and long flowering tree.
Sometimes readers contact me with questions that I can’t answer. I’m not a gardening expert– I’m a writer by profession. I interview knowledgeable people in order to provide you with great articles on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.
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A more efficient route for getting your questions answered is to turn to Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or to turn to your local garden center.
For Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, call (716) 652-5400 from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Chautauqua County, email your question to CCEMGCC@gmail.com; call the Helpline at (716) 664-9502, ext 224, or stop in to the Ag Center, 3542 Turner Rd., Jamestown, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.
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