All Hydrangeas are Not Pruned Alike

A Quick Guide to the Down and Dirty

If you stood in your garden last week with pruners in hand, not sure how to cut back the large hydrangea bush you adore, never fear, it is not too late to have at it.

Blue Nikko or Endless Summer (macrophylla) bloom off 2nd year wood. I prune half way down and half of the woody branches. The next year I prune the other half of the stems. The ones your cut the second year are now the remaining longer stems.


Limelight and Pee Dee (paniculata) bloom off of new wood. You can prune them to the desired height minus some, thereby allowing for summer growth.

Limelight hydrangea

Annabelle (arborescence) bloom off new wood but get really top heavy. I prune these down to the ground each spring so they don’t flop on the dirt.

Annabelle Hydrangea

Oak leaf (hydrangea quercifolia) I prune in very early spring or any time after they bloom. If you see the little flowers forming – wait to prune.

Oakleaf Hydrangea