Knowing how to deadhead hydrangeas will not only keep your shrub healthy and happy, but will encourage better blooms next season. So, if you spot wilting flowers on your hydrangea, it means it’s time to take action. But, before you reach for the pruning shears, more like that Pruning hydrangeasYou should know that deadheading is best done at certain times of the year.
Curious to learn more? Here, we cover how and when to best deadhead hydrangeas. We’ll walk you through what to do step-by-step and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Deadheading is the process of removing dead flowers. It doesn’t take any time at all – plus, it makes a noticeable difference to your hydrangea, so it’s worth doing.
How to deadhead hydrangeas
what you need
– Bypass pruning shears
– Gardening gloves
– Denatured alcohol
1. Find a pair of bypass pruning shears
It’s important to use this type of pruner because it makes a clean cut, as opposed to steam-crushing anvil pruning shears. If you need a new set, we’ve scoured the range to find out Best pruning shears.
2. Wipe the blades with alcohol
If you’re using old pruning shears, make sure to wipe the blades with an alcohol-soaked cloth. This basically prevents any disease from spreading from the blades to your hydrangeas.
For the same reason keep the cloth in hand as if you were dead. You can spread the disease from one stem to another, so you should wipe the blades between cuts.
3. Remove spent flowers
Now comes the satisfying part; Remove old flowers. First of all, you can tell that hydrangea flowers are spent when they fade, wilt and dry. Then they are ready to be removed.
Wearing a pair of gardening gloves, hold the stem directly below the wilted flower and use your bypass pruning shears to cut just above the first set of healthy leaves. Remove the dead flower heads and set aside for the compost pile.
If you’re headhunting from August, be aware that new buds may grow between the leaves, so make sure you cut well above them. If you notice any old growth or dead stems as you work around the shrub, remove them from the base to improve air circulation.
4. Tidy up
Make sure you collect and dispose of old flowers after they die. If left on the ground, these can reduce air circulation back to the base. Plus, it doesn’t look good.
When Should You Deadhead Hydrangeas?
Deadheading hydrangeas is usually done in late winter or early spring, but you can essentially deadhead during the blooming season after the flowers have passed.
However, you should stop dandruff in mid to late fall. It helps Keep your hydrangeas in winterAnd dried flowers can make an attractive appearance in the colder months. A lot of new buds grow on the stems in autumn and this prevents them from being accidentally cut.
What is the difference between shaving and pruning?
Keep in mind that dead heading is not the same as pruning. Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers, while pruning involves cutting the shrub back substantially. If you want more information on pruning, check out our guide on how to prune hydrangeas.
For more outdoor tips, tricks and how-tos, check out our guides on how to prune roses, how to prune lilacs and how to prune grapes.