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Do You Deadhead Hydrangea Plants?

Do you deadhead hydrangea plants? Learn why, when, and how to properly remove spent blooms to encourage healthier growth and more vibrant flowers.

Do you deadhead hydrangea plants?

Hello and welcome to Hydrangea Love!

There is no question that we love hydrangeas here.

That said, we aim to provide you with all of the help and information you need to take care of your big, beautiful blooms.

You’ll find all sorts of articles about hydrangeas here, such as the different types of hydrangeas, our favorite fertilizers, and how to transplant and divide hydrangeas.

However, today’s post is all about answering one question:

Do you deadhead hydrangeas?

And if so, how and when do you do it?

Let’s get to it!

Do You Deadhead Hydrangea Plants?

Hydrangeas are a garden favorite, beloved for their large, vibrant blooms that can add a burst of color to any landscape.

But to keep your hydrangeas looking their best, you might wonder, “Do you deadhead hydrangea plants?”

The short answer is yes!

When to deadhead hydrangeas

Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, can significantly benefit your hydrangeas.

Let’s dive into why, when, and how to properly deadhead your hydrangeas to encourage healthier growth and more vibrant flowers.

Why Should You Deadhead Hydrangeas?

Deadheading is more than just a cosmetic practice; it’s a way to promote the overall health and vitality of your plants.

Here are some compelling reasons to deadhead your hydrangeas:

  1. Encourages More Blooms: By removing spent flowers, you redirect the plant’s energy from seed production back into growing new blooms. This can result in a longer blooming period and more flowers throughout the season.
  2. Prevents Disease: Old, decaying blooms can become a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Removing them keeps your plant healthy and less susceptible to problems.
  3. Improves Appearance: Deadheading keeps your hydrangea looking neat and tidy, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your garden.
  4. Stimulates Growth: Regular deadheading can stimulate new growth and maintain the plant’s shape and structure, contributing to a fuller and more robust appearance.
Do you deadhead hydrangea plants? Learn why, when, and how to properly remove spent blooms to encourage healthier growth and more vibrant flowers.

When to Deadhead Hydrangeas

The timing of deadheading hydrangeas depends on the type of hydrangea you have, as different varieties have different blooming times and patterns. Here’s a quick guide:

Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla): These are the most common types, including mophead and lacecap varieties. (Endless Summer is a favorite example.)

Deadhead throughout the blooming season, typically from late spring to summer. Be cautious not to remove buds for the next year’s blooms, which form in late summer.

Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata): These bloom on new wood, meaning they produce flowers on the current season’s growth. Deadhead after the flowers fade in late summer to early fall. Here are 11 Cone Hydrangea Varieties We Love.

Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens): These also bloom on new wood. Deadhead spent blooms in late summer to encourage a tidier appearance and healthier growth.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia): These bloom on old wood, so be careful when deadheading. Remove spent flowers after they fade in summer, but avoid cutting into the wood where next year’s buds have formed.

How to Properly Deadhead Hydrangeas

Deadheading hydrangeas is a simple process, but doing it correctly ensures you don’t harm the plant or reduce next year’s blooms. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify Spent Blooms: Look for flowers that have faded, turned brown, or lost their vibrancy.
  2. Use Clean, Sharp Tools: Use a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to make a clean cut. This helps prevent the spread of disease.
  3. Find the Right Spot: For most hydrangeas, cut just above the first set of healthy leaves beneath the spent bloom. For bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangeas, be careful not to cut into the developing buds for next year’s flowers.
  4. Angle Your Cut: Make your cut at a slight angle to allow water to run off, reducing the risk of rot and disease.
  5. Dispose of Debris: Collect and dispose of the spent blooms and any other debris to keep the area around your hydrangea clean and reduce the risk of disease.

Additional Tips for Hydrangea Care

  • Regular Watering: Hydrangeas thrive in consistently moist soil. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Use our guide to watering hydrangeas for more info!
  • Mulching: Apply mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer in the spring to give your hydrangeas a nutrient boost. Here’s some more info on the topic of fertilizing!
  • Pruning: Apart from deadheading, prune your hydrangeas according to their type. For those that bloom on new wood, late winter or early spring pruning is beneficial. For old wood bloomers, prune right after they finish blooming.

That’s it!

We hope this helps!

Now you can stop wondering, “Do you deadhead hydrangea plants?”

By following these tips and understanding the importance of deadheading, you can enjoy a garden full of healthy, vibrant hydrangeas.

Happy gardening!

Your Fellow Hydrangea Lover

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