How to Prune Lacecap Hydrangeas


The Lacecap Hydrangea is a type of French Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) with flat clusters of flowers. Tiny flowers surrounded by flowers with larger petals give the blooms a lacy appearance that resembles an old-fashioned head covering. Lacecap Hydrangeas have a rounded form with stout, upright branches. In areas where they freeze in the winter, the plants grow up to 6 feet tall and wide. In frost-free areas, the plants may grow up to 12 feet tall and wide. Lacecap Hydrangeas bloom on the previous year's growth and should not be pruned after Aug. 1, to avoid disrupting the next season's flowers.

Step 1

Use hand pruners for limbs up to 1/2 inch in diameter and lopping shears for larger limbs. Make cuts at a 30 degree angle, at a joint or bud.

Step 2

In the spring, remove old or woody limbs that no longer produce leaves or buds at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears.

Step 3

Use hand pruners or lopping shears to cut out dead, damaged or diseased limbs. Symptoms of disease include split wood, cankers, peeling bark or moldy areas on the affected limbs.

Step 4

After the predicted date of the last frost, remove frost-damaged leaves by hand or with hand pruners.

Step 5

In late summer, no later than Aug. 1, trim elongated or wayward limbs that spoil the shape of the plant with hand pruners or lopping shears. To control the size of the plant, cut limbs back 1/3 to 1/2 of their length.

Step 6

Dead flowers can be removed in the fall with hand pruners or left on the plant for winter interest. If they are left on the plant, remove dead flowers in the spring before new growth begins.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears


  • University of Florida Extension: French Hydrangea for Gardens in North and Central Florida
Keywords: prune Lacecap Hydrangeas, Lacecap Hydrangeas, prune Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea macrophylla, prune French Hydrangea

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.