Annabelle, a variety of hydrangea, blooms in the spring and summer. This variety of hydrangea blooms on new growth each spring. Unlike other varieties of hydrangea that bloom on second-year growth, the Annabelle hydrangea will send out shoots, stems and blooms in a single season. Prune Annabelle hydrangeas in the late fall or early spring to clear away the old growth. New growth will shoot up from the base of the plant, creating a full, blooming shrub.
Cut off the dead wood from around the outside of the Annabelle hydrangea. Make horizontal cuts as close to the ground as possible. Be careful not to damage the new, green buds that form at ground level in the early spring.
Continue clipping off last season's dead wood as close to the ground as possible. Work your way from the outside of the plant into the center.
Cut off any remaining stalks until the entire plant is cut down to the ground. This dramatic pruning is specific to Annabelle hydrangeas, other hydrangea varieties that bloom on two-year-old growth require careful spring pruning.