Are your hydrangeas ready for Spring?


Hydrangea set

Yesterday the sun was out and the sky was that wonderful blue you can experience in late winter before the spring. Stirred into action, I opened the tool shed for the secateurs and headed for the lacecap hydrangea bushes in my garden.The air was dry and cool, but not overly so, and frost was not expected overnight.

Most hydrangeas bloom on the back of the previous year’s growth. In old bushes (say, more than five years old), or if you are looking for bigger blooms next year, you can prune your bush right back reasonably close to the ground. But if you are happy to have many smaller blooms on sturdy stems this year you can afford to be less severe, cutting the dead head at a point just above the first or second pair of buds – my bushes are budding furiously and prompting me to prune, although mostly they required little more than deadheading.

After carefully pruning each stem, I am left with a reasonably rounded bush which should look very well when the flowers come-out.There is a temptation to over prune hydrangeas. We may do this because we have limited space in which to allow them to grow. Before you go overzealous with your cutting you should make sure you know what variety of hydrangea bush you are dealing with. Mopheads and lacecaps for example are very common.You should note that different types may need different treatment at this time of year.

Daily Mail Gardening expert, Monty Don, can help guide you in caring for your hydrangeas so as to avoid endangering them.

For further reading more facts can be had from the Royal Horticultural Society. 

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