When we moved into our apartment in August of 2010, the Hydrangea in the backyard was in full bloom.
That fall I researched how to prune hydrangeas and decided, based on photos and info found here, that our hydrangea must be H. arborescens, an Annabelle type. According to this very helpful site, these types of hydrangeas bloom on new wood (new stems), and that they usually “bloom every single year, no matter how they are treated. The only time they cannot be pruned is in the spring when they are preparing to bloom.” The site recommends that you prune this type of hydrangea back to a few inches above ground or to about 18″ – 24″ if you want to leave old wood to support the new branches and keep the plant from flattening in the rain.
So, that’s what I did. However, I also divided the hydrangea at the same time. It was enormous and was crowded in with a holly (which I have since dug up and given away as it didn’t have a mate and produced no berries.) I gave the hydrangea division to my friend Bev in PA.
It continued to grow…
…and to become huge, green, and lush:
The only problem? No flowers! Not a single bloom all summer long. I am hoping that the lack of flowers was due to it having been divided the previous fall and not to an error in my pruning methods.
This year I have not yet pruned the hydrangea at all, partly because I’m scared to, and partly because the weather has been so strangely warm that I wondered if I ought to wait for colder temperatures…which are kind of upon us now. Is it too late?
Toward the end of fall I noticed powdery mildew on its leaves before they fell off, so I’m hoping that will not make a comeback this summer.
What do you think? Have I missed the boat on this one? Should I just let it be, or start chopping? (Oh, I know you YOU would answer this question, my good Linnie! You may be right!)