Hydrangia Pruning

I need help with Hydrangea pruning to produce cut-flowers. Can anyone point me to a good reference for Hydrangea pruning.

Should I prune Paniculata Hydrangea below the previous pruning cuts? Also, should I thin the flowers - especially the low hanging ones? My goal is to produce a reasonable number of cut flowers with long stems from each plant we can sell. We have Limelight, Baby Lime, Pinkie Winkie and a few others.

Paniculatas, as I’m sure you know, bloom on the current year’s growth. As a result they can be pruned (or not) pruned as needed. My experience cutting them back about halfway (particularly Limelight and Little Lime) yields plenty of long stemmed, average sized flowers. If you want fewer, but larger, flowers cut them back really hard so they send up new basal shoots. Not pruning seems to yield shorter stems and a more twiggy growth habit.

Check out this blog, she talks fairly often about hydrangea pruning: http://deborahsilver.com/blog/tag/pruning-hydrangeas/

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Thank you for the information and link, it helped a lot.

At the moment we have about three new stems produced on top of each shoot after last years pruning. Should I head each shoot below last years pruning to eliminate the additional stems produced by the heading cut?

That’s probably a good idea. I have dozens and dozens of hydrangeas to prune at work, I usually prune out little twiggy stuff below the branching and head back thick branches.