Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata and cvs., Zones 3–8)
You may have purchased this plant either as a shrub or as one with an elevated head called a tree form or “on a standard” in the nursery industry. Both can be pruned in the same way.
When to prune: Early spring is best, when the first green new growth appears but the threat of frost has passed.
How to prune: Your primary attack comes in early spring, when you see those green eyes peeking out from the branches. Grab your bypass pruners, because it’s cutting time! These plants have opposite buds (buds that form opposite to each other along the stems). Before starting to prune, identify those sets that are pointing almost parallel to the ground (basically one “eye” is pointing up toward the sky, and the other is pointing down). These are the buds you’ll be cutting back to, because this…
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