In many household plots, you can find panicle hydrangea - a beautiful perennial shrub with lush flower caps. To preserve its decorative effect longer, the plant is periodically pruned, removing part of the shoots from the crown. Pruning panicle hydrangea in spring not only contributes to abundant flowering, but also rejuvenates the plant, significantly extending its life.
Do I need to cut panicle hydrangea in spring
Panicle hydrangea is distinguished not only by the rapid growth of shoots, but also by increased shoot formation. Over time, this leads to a strong thickening of the bush, it takes on a sloppy look, the number of flowers on it decreases. The appearance of inflorescences also deteriorates, they become rare and faded. Old shoots inhibit the growth of young ones. In addition, thickening of the bush is a risk factor for the appearance of diseases and pests on hydrangeas.
Pruning in spring is necessary for the lush flowering of paniculate hydrangea.
Spring pruning of paniculate hydrangea has several advantages over this procedure in the fall. Here are some of the positives:
- Spring pruning of hydrangea paniculata contributes to the rapid recovery of the bush after the winter period.
- This procedure relieves the hydrangea of weak, frozen, dried and broken branches, which can become a source of disease or a breeding ground for insect pests.
- Stimulates the growth of young shoots, on which flower caps will form.
- When pruning in the spring, the likelihood of freezing of the pruned shoots is reduced.
- In the spring, it is easier to determine which of the shoots to be removed.
Spring pruning improves the appearance and decorative effect of the bush, reduces the likelihood of diseases, and prolongs the life of the plant. For all her positive qualities, she also has disadvantages:
- Short period for work.
- Pruning will significantly delay the start of flowering.
Dried inflorescences of hydrangea paniculata cannot be left until spring
Important! Dried hydrangea inflorescences should be removed not in spring, but in autumn. Leaving them for the winter is undesirable, since they can break the entire shoot if a lot of snow adheres to them.
Why do you need pruning hydrangeas in paniculate spring
There are several types of pruning that are used for panicle hydrangea:
- Sanitary. This procedure is used to remove broken and dried branches that have frozen over the winter shoots. By sanitary pruning, we mean any actions associated with cleaning the bush, reducing the likelihood of foci of infections and insect pests on it. In addition to spring, this procedure must be carried out in the fall, and in case of emergency it can be done in the summer.
Important! In case of severe mechanical damage or damage to the bush, sanitary pruning should be radical, the shoots are removed to hemp 40-50 cm long. The shrub will not bloom next year, but such an extreme measure helps to save the plant from death.
- Anti-aging. Carried out to stimulate the growth of new shoots. During this procedure, old branches are removed to the base, on which flowering no longer occurs. After rejuvenating pruning, the bush should contain about 10 young, strong shoots.
- Formative. This type of pruning is required for a young panicle hydrangea bush in order for the bush to grow evenly and have the correct shape.
- Normalizing, or regulating. They are made to give the bush splendor, as well as to regulate the number of flower-stemming shoots.
Various types of pruning are usually combined depending on the age of the bush, since they are carried out at one time and at the same time.
When can you cut hydrangea paniculata in spring
Panicle hydrangea can be grown in different climatic zones, therefore, the timing of the beginning of the growing season can differ significantly. Therefore, when trimming, you need to focus not on the calendar date, but on the weather conditions. You need to cut paniculate hydrangeas at the very beginning of the growing season, when the plant is just starting to wake up. In this case, the ambient temperature should not fall below 0 ° C, otherwise the cut off shoots will freeze.
You should also not tighten too much with the beginning of the pruning. If you are late and prune the bush after the growing season has begun, then recovery will take a long time, the plant will hurt and begin flowering much later.
Important! If the panicle hydrangea has completely entered the growing season, then it is better to refuse its spring pruning so as not to harm the plant. You just need to cut out dried and broken shoots.
How to properly prune a panicle hydrangea in spring
For pruning panicle hydrangea, it is most convenient to use a regular garden pruner. The cutting edges of the tool must first be cleaned and disinfected, otherwise there is a risk of infection. Keep the pruner sharp so it will leave clean, straight, fringed cuts that will tighten quickly. Otherwise, the cut edges will get wet for a long time and will not heal soon.
This is what a panicle hydrangea bush looks like before and after pruning.
The scheme for pruning panicle hydrangea in spring is quite simple, its main stages are:
- Sanitary cleaning of the bush. All shoots that have been damaged or broken in winter are cut at the root. The same should be done with small twigs and shoots over 4 years old, since they do not form peduncles, but only thicken the bush.
- The second stage is to cut off the lateral shoots at a height slightly higher than the 2nd pair of buds. This stimulates the growth of young lateral shoots, which will give the bush volume and splendor.
- Thin the crown, remove weak young growth from the center of the bush, cut off the shoots growing inward.
An interesting video for beginners on how to properly prune a panicle hydrangea in spring:
Care for hydrangea paniculata after spring pruning
To help panicle hydrangea bushes recover as quickly as possible after spring pruning, it is imperative to provide it with sufficient moisture and nutrients. Watering at this time should be carried out regularly, making sure that the root zone of the plant does not dry out. At the same time, it is not necessary to fill the bush, an excess of water for hydrangeas is harmful. The root zone must be mulched with litter or bark of coniferous trees, this will not only retain moisture in the soil, preventing its evaporation, but also additionally acidify the soil.
Mulching the soil with fallen needles retains moisture and maintains acidity
Important! It is better to water panicle hydrangeas with settled rainwater, since there are substances in tap and artesian water that reduce the acidity of the soil.
After pruning, the plants must be fed. In early spring, they especially need nitrogen fertilizers, the lack of this element inhibits the growth of shoots, reduces the foliage of the bush and its decorative effect. For feeding paniculate hydrangeas, it is recommended at this time to use a solution of urea and potassium sulfate (2 tablespoons per bucket of water), which is uniformly irrigated in the root zone. For 1 bush, 0.5 buckets of liquid fertilizer are enough. Instead of urea, you can use other nitrogen-containing fertilizers: nitroammofosku or azofosku, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate.
Fertilizers are applied to the soil only after preliminary watering.
Important! The root zone of the bush must be watered abundantly before fertilizing.
In early spring, paniculate hydrangeas can be fed not only with mineral fertilizers, but also with organic matter: a solution of slurry, infusion of mullein, chicken droppings. Some gardeners prefer to use extended-release fertilizers designed specifically for feeding hydrangeas, rhododendrons and azaleas. They are sold in specialized stores under the brands Fertika, Pokon, Green Wood, etc.
Special fertilizers for hydrangeas - an excellent alternative to conventional feeding
Important! Granular fertilizers of prolonged action can be applied once, at the beginning of the growing season, or periodically, at certain intervals.
Experienced gardening tips
When carrying out such a procedure as pruning, it is worth taking into account the experience of gardeners who have been growing these plants for a long time. This will help to avoid mistakes and greatly simplify the work. Here are some tips to help you prune your panicle hydrangeas correctly in the spring:
- The colder the climate of the region in which panicle hydrangea is grown, the more carefully you need to plan the date of work. The threat of recurrent frost must be completely eliminated. It is better to wait a while and carry out the work later than freezing already cut bushes.
- Hydrangea paniculata tolerates pruning well, so there is no need to be afraid that, due to inexperience, you can cut off something extra. Nevertheless, carrying out this procedure for the first time, it is advisable to first study this issue in theory, and directly prune under the guidance of an experienced gardener.
- It is quite easy to recognize old shoots that will never bloom again. They are dark brown in color, have a tree-like structure and multiple bark cracks. Such branches must be cut at the root.
- After pruning, be sure to clean the bush and remove all cut parts. The cleaner the inner space of the bush is, the better it will feel, the less likely it is to get sick or pests appear on it.
- In panicle hydrangeas, from 1 to 3 shoots can grow from each bud. To make the bush more lush and rounded, you should cut out the branches that grow inside the bush, while leaving those that are directed outward.
Pruning panicle hydrangea in spring should be done every season. This is a good way to maintain the decorative effect of the bush at a high level, and at the same time to rejuvenate, thereby extending its life. Pruning panicle hydrangea is not particularly difficult, and even a novice gardener can cope with it. You just need to understand the principle of carrying out this work and choose the right time.