Pruning hydrangeas

Pruning hydrangeas

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Question: Pruning hydrangeas

because my hydrangeas have been making few flowers for some years, I also tried not to prune them to leave all the jets, the plants are beautiful luxuriant and green but with very few flowers.

Answer: Hydrangea pruning

Dear Emilio,
the hydrangeas are beautiful vigorous shrubs, which need some care to be filled every year with large colorful flowers; first of all it is essential to keep them always healthy, cultivating them in the most suitable soil, or in a fresh, well-drained soil, and if your hydrangeas are blue, even acid. Generally the water in the aqueduct tends to be very calcareous, and over time makes iron in the ground scarcely available; for this reason it is advisable to regularly thicken the bed of the hydrangeas with acid soil, and provide the correct fertilizer, specific for hydrangeas and acidophilic plants; this advice is to be practiced especially if over time your hydrangea shrubs tend to have ever lighter and duller foliage, a clear symptom of leaf chlorosis. To have large and beautiful flowers it is also important to avoid fertilizers excessively rich in nitrogen; the organic fertilizer is generally used in autumn, or at the vegetative restart, but afterwards it is important to supply fertilizers rich in potassium, or the plant may use a lot of energy in the formation of new leaves, rather than in the production of flowers. Another important element in the care of hydrangeas is pruning, both pruning excessively and never pruning, they are two errors that cause very small flowers in large numbers, or scarce flowers, because it is advisable to stimulate the production of new ones every year ramifications, which go to replace those that have already flourished. Pruning is practiced in late winter, when the swollen buds are already seen, so that it is easier for you to understand which gems to hold and which to sacrifice; if you look at your shrubs you will notice that they bear three kinds of branches: some branches are erect, without branches, and they have not bloomed this year, they are new branches, from which next summer you will get some beautiful flowers; other branches have flowered, and are devoid of branches, they are the branches that are already one or two years old, and should only be shortened slightly; yet other branches will have bloomed this year, and you will notice lateral branches on them, these are the oldest branches, and they must be cut close to the base, to favor a rejuvenation of the shrub, to stimulate the production of new branches and a better one aeration of the canopy. In any case, avoid generic pruning, such as shortening all the branches, and also avoid excessive pruning, which removes more than a third of the wood present today, or you will find yourself with many tiny inflorescences.