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How to Prune Peegee Hydrangeas

Hydrangea Blossom image by MIchelle Chrin from

Pee Gee hydrangea is a nickname or shortcut moniker for the flowering shrub known botanically as Hydrangea paniculata Grandiflora. It produces large, snow-white flower heads in the middle to late summer and even into fall in warmer climes. According to the University of Rhode Island, Pee Gee is the most commonly planted hydrangea species. The flower heads age to a pinkish hue over time and can persist on the shrub after the leaves have dropped or died back. You can conduct light pruning throughout the growing season; once a year you should undertake a more severe pruning to create new branch growth capable of producing flowers.

Harvest fresh blooms for use in cut flower arrangements in the summer and fall by cutting the stem down to the desired length. Use your secateurs to place a bias cut just above a leaf node or bud to encourage new branching.

Deadhead flowers left on the shrub during the growing season when they begin to look untidy. Cut on the bias down the stem at the desired point and place the cut just above a leaf node or bud.

Conduct annual pruning to control the size or shape of the shrub in the late winter or early spring before any new leaf growth appears. Cut back roughly a third of the older branches, spaced evenly throughout the shrub to maintain a balanced internal branch architecture. Cut back to the parent branch or down to the main trunk.

Remove all of the loose clippings from the shrub and pick up any that have fallen to the soil below to keep the area clean and prevent disease or pests from breeding in the plant tissues.


Secateurs can make most of the branch cuts. Very old and large branches may require heavier loppers to make a clean, crisp single cut.

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