How to deadhead hydrangeas

Beginner’s Guide: How to Deadhead Hydrangeas (Video)

Do you need to tidy up your hydrangeas? Is it looking sad with lots of faded blooms? Want to learn how to properly cut off dead hydrangea flowers? In this article, I will show you how to deadhead hydrangeas. Below you will find my video tutorial showing how to deadhead hydrangeas.

Video Tutorial of How to Deadhead Hydrangeas

What is Deadheading?

Deadheading is removing the spent or dead flowers of hydrangeas. The main goal of deadheading is to tidy up your hydrangea shrub. 

Be Careful when Pruning your Hydrangeas!

Before I go over how to deadhead your hydrangeas, I’d like to warn you of the dangers of pruning hydrangeas. Pruning hydrangeas can result in no flowers the following year. If you cut off a large portion of the hydrangea stem, you can accidentally cut off the flower buds. The hydrangea flower buds are the flowers for next summer!

I personally deadhead my hydrangeas sparingly, removing just enough dead flowers so the shrub looks neat and tidy. I don’t prune much further than that. And when it’s late summer, I stop deadheading my hydrangeas and I just let the dead hydrangea flowers dry up. I think the dried hydrangea flowers make it visually more attractive.

How to deadhead hydrangeas
Hydrangeas with dead flowers

How to Deadhead Hydrangeas

The key to deadheading hydrangeas is to know where to cut. Cut just below the spent hydrangea flower and above the first set of leaves. Make sure you don’t cut off any flower buds. Cut above the flower buds. 

How to deadhead hydrangeas
How to deadhead hydrangeas

Your goal is to just tidy up your hydrangeas by removing the dead flowers. That’s it! Don’t be tempted to prune any further. Remember, your hydrangeas are low-maintenance plants and don’t require pruning!

When to Deadhead Hydrangeas

You can deadhead hydrangeas all summer long when the blooms start to fade. Stop deadheading hydrangeas in the Fall. Or if you are like me, stop deadheading in late summer. Leave the dried hydrangea blooms on the shrub.

Remember, with hydrangeas, less pruning is better than over-pruning! 

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