Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Deadhead Hydrangeas

dead flower image by Pali A from Fotolia.com

Hydrangeas make a beautiful addition to the yard or garden, adding a rainbow of colors, including pastel pink, pale blue, deep purple, lavender and multi-colored petals. The plant blooms throughout the spring and into late summer and early fall, producing clusters of showy blooms. Once the blooming season is over and flowers fade and die, the process known as “deadheading” takes place to remove the dried cluster heads. Removing the dead heads not only enhances the look of the plant, if removed early enough, the dried flowers are usable in craft projects.

Clip the dead hydrangea blooms, along with a portion of the stem, using the garden clippers during the fall months of October through early November or after the blooming season has ended, and flower heads have turned brown.

Place the clippers along the length of each stem just above newly formed buds. Hydrangeas begin to form buds early. Clip the stem cleanly, being careful not to damage any new growth.

Place dead blooms and stems in a container for later disposal, or use the dried hydrangea blooms in dried flower arrangements or potpourri mixtures.

Trim the stem and deadhead the blooms to stimulate growth, resulting in a fuller plant and more blooms during the season.

Deadhead Hydrangeas

cried the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland." Different species of hydrangeas thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. That's when you gently snip off the blossom with a scissor or pruner above the top leaves on the stem, giving the plant a chance to replace it with a new flower. Fortunately, you can deadhead hydrangeas whenever a flower wilts, as long as you just remove the blossom itself. Getting your timing right for pruning is critical. Hydrangeas are healthier if you remove the dead blossoms and also remove any dead branches. Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) and oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) bloom on old wood. That can leave you with few flowers the following summer. Because they produce stems that will bud quite late, you can prune these species in fall, winter or spring.

Garden Guides
×