When to prune Hydrangea 'Pink Diamond'?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMarch 17, 2011

I just added a new 'Pink Diamond' Hydrangea in the fall. It's a standard with a trunk and I would like to prune it in such a way that it will provide as much support as possible for the flower heads, so there is less flopping. I don't see any buds swelling yet and wondered if I should be by now? And if I should start pruning it now regardless of not seeing any growth?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

on my un-named generic hydrangea.. non-standard.. in the ground ...

i usually keep a sharp eye on it.. and see what buds actually become active.. and then prune ...

here in my z5 ... there are some winter damage issues.. and i am always worried i will prune out all the viable buds.. and leave the ones that died ...

so waiting for a bit of swelling eases my mind ..

ken

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 1:34PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have other Hydrangea, I should check those. But this is the first paniculata I've had, and I thought it was hardier than the macrophylla.

I seem to remember the hydrangeas are a little slower to show growth. I think I will write it down in my journal this year, to remember for next year. I will definitely wait to see a little swelling before I try to prune it.

Thanks, Ken... :-)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:52PM
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gardengal48

You can prune it now if you like - paniculatas bloom on new growth so there is little worry about pruning affecting the bloom cycle unless you leave it too late. Generally, late winter/early spring is a good time if not cut back in fall.

FWIW, wood that has been in place for a season or two tends to be sturdier than that produced the current season, so you may want to temper your pruning with that in mind. IOW, cutting it back hard may simply result in alot of tender, weaker growth that may not be up to supporting the heavy blossoms.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 10:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks for that added information gardengal. Something to consider.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:24PM
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EGO45(6bCT)

PM, generally you could prune paniculatas at any time from February till April aka late winter/early spring, but since you don't have a 'trained eye' yet, it would be better to leave it alone till you see swelling buds and prune it then.
Make sure to remove all small twiggy growth completely (which you could do now) and cut the most strong shoots above two sets of viable buds as soon as they become apparent.
For the tree form it's important to create outward facing symmetrical branch structure at young age that will serve you as a base for the nice dense crown for the years to come.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:24AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks ego, I remember you have those beautiful Tardiva Hydrangeas, They must be getting pretty mature. Appreciate the help.

I was just out there this morning and decided to at least cut off the dead blossoms, so did that and cut to just above the node underneath the dead flower bloom. I wonder if I should wait and see where the buds become apparent and go back and trim it again to leave just two sets of viable buds on each branch?

And since we're on the subject, having just planted this 'Pink Diamond' last fall, I wonder if I should consider adding Plant-tone around the base this spring or wait until next year?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 1:22PM
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