Welcome to O’Fallon Landscaping and Hardscapes Blog! We’re here to help you transform your garden into a lush paradise. Today, we’re diving into the world of hydrangeas and discussing the best time to prune these stunning blooms. Hydrangeas are known for their vibrant colors and breathtaking beauty, and with the right care, you can enjoy their stunning blooms year after year.

Understanding Your Hydrangeas

Before we get into the timing of pruning your hydrangeas, it’s essential to understand the type of hydrangea you have in your garden. There are several varieties, but the most common ones include:

  1. Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): Known for their large, globe-shaped blooms, bigleaf hydrangeas include both mophead and lacecap varieties. They are known for their ability to change color based on soil pH.
  2. Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata): These hydrangeas have cone-shaped flower clusters and are generally more tolerant of pruning. They often bloom on new wood.
  3. Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia): Recognized by their oakleaf-shaped leaves and cone-shaped flower clusters, these hydrangeas offer stunning fall foliage in addition to beautiful summer blooms.
  4. Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): These hydrangeas are prized for their large, round flower clusters and are known for being hardy and easy to care for.

When to Prune Your Hydrangeas

The timing of hydrangea pruning is crucial for ensuring bountiful blooms. Here’s a general guideline for when to prune your hydrangeas based on their type:

  1. Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla):
  • Mophead Varieties: Prune after flowering in late summer or early fall. This allows the plant to set new buds for the next year.
  • Lacecap Varieties: Follow the same guidelines as mophead varieties.
  1. Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata):
    • Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Panicle hydrangeas often bloom on new wood, so pruning during dormancy is safe.
  2. Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia):
  • Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Like panicle hydrangeas, they also bloom on new wood.
  1. Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens):
    • Prune in late winter or early spring, as these hydrangeas bloom on new wood.

Additional Tips for Successful Pruning

  • Always use sharp, clean pruning shears to make clean cuts and minimize the risk of disease.
  • Remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches to improve air circulation and promote overall plant health.
  • Avoid pruning too late in the season, as this may remove potential flower buds.
  • If you’re uncertain about the type of hydrangea in your garden or when to prune it, it’s best to consult with a local gardening expert or our professional landscaping team.


Pruning your hydrangeas at the right time is essential to ensure they thrive and produce abundant blooms. By understanding the type of hydrangea you have and following the pruning guidelines provided, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a garden filled with these magnificent and colorful flowers. If you have any questions or need assistance with your hydrangea care, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at O’Fallon Landscaping and Hardscapes. Happy gardening!