How to properly prune your forest hydrangea - important tips and tricks

How to properly prune your forest hydrangea - important tips and tricks

Are all hydrangeas pruned the same?

There are big differences when it comes to pruning hydrangeas, because each variety has its own special requirements. Some varieties already sprout the buds for the next year in autumn. These types include, for example, the farmer's, giant leaf, climbing or plate hydrangeas, in principle most of the species.

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All of these hydrangeas should only be carefully pruned back to preserve the buds for the next flowering. Cut only the withered flowers close to the buds. If necessary, thin out the bush a little. In addition, cut off old dry shoots close to the ground.

If you would like to bring hydrangeas of this type into a new shape and, for once, prune more vigorously, then that is of course also possible. The hydrangea is persistent enough to recover well from it. However, you must expect this plant to produce fewer flowers in the next year.

Cutting the snowball or wad hydrangea

Other hydrangea species, such as the snowball or forest hydrangea and the panicle hydrangea, on the other hand, do not form their new shoots and buds until spring. You can prune these back in autumn or early spring, just like other summer bloomers. Shorten the shoots so that at least one pair of eyes per shoot remains. Remove old or dry shoots completely.

Cut hydrangeas for the vase

Hydrangeas are also excellent cut flowers, not just during the flowering period. The dry flowers in autumn, like the branches of the rose hips, are suitable for decorative dry bouquets. They are also a feast for the eyes in the winter garden.

The main tips for cutting hydrangeas:

  • Only carefully prune back varieties that emerge in autumn
  • Varieties that sprout in spring may be pruned more vigorously
  • only use sharp and clean secateurs (19.03 € on Amazon *)
  • Cut dry and diseased shoots close to the ground


Be careful when pruning your forest hydrangea in autumn, unless you want to give the plant a new look.