Please help me understand Hydrangeas
I've read a few articles about pruning hydrangeas, but I'm still a little confused.
We inherited 4 large hydrangeas when we bought our house. I believe that they are macrophyllas. We had a landscaper help us out this spring, and he pruned back the plants from about 5 feet tall down to roughly 3.5 feet. He said that there was a lot of completely dead stuff and that he just cut out the branches whose buds were completely dead and dried up. The plants started growing new shoots and now are close to 6 feet tall. There are probably about 15 blooms so far.
First of all, I though macrophyllas bloomed on old wood. But all the blooms on this plant are off of the shoots that sprang out of the buds this year. I just don't get the "old wood" idea. I've never seen a hydrangea where blooms burst directly out of the old wood's buds.
Secondly, if I don't want them to grow over 6 feet, how do I prune and when? I've read that I should cut the spend blooms down to the next set op opposing buds, but that would hardly control the size of the plant. Also, there are opposing buds at every set of opposing leaves, about every 6 inches all up and down the new shoots. Can I just cut the new shoots down where they sprouted from the old wood, or will the old wood no longer produce new buds and therefore new shoots and blooms next year.
Please help me understand.