What would you do?

BethpenSeptember 15, 2008

Hello Hydrangea peeps!

I have two hydrangea questions....

First, here are my bushes in my back planter. The bushes are Nikko Blue and about 9 years old. They are really hanging low and heavy and I think I should prune them back. I don't mind if they don't flower next year, I'm more worried they'll get all broken.

This is the side view.....

Would you cut them back? How far?

I also have three of these PeeGees near my pool. I cut them back a little bit in the Spring. We'd been unable to do much the year before due to some illness. Anyway, they went INSANE and grew probably 2-3 feet in some spots and bloomed like crazy! They are practically dragging on the ground. I read that I can leave those for the winter, but am afraid that the snow will break them. Especially since there are two or three foot branches that go straight up.

Here's another one...

I'm not really sure what these PeeGees are, but they are really pretty and smell great. The bees were really happy with them this year.

Thanks for any advice!

Beth

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ego45(6bCT)

First, let me tell you that you have great looking plants and many of us would of die for the such beauties. :-)

Re: Nikko.
Since you don't care about next year blooms you could simply cut whenever and whatever you think is appropriate.
If it would be me, I would of left everything 'as is' till spring and then would of prune whatever ma-nature left unpruned.
Also, it seems like your Nikko hedge has a lot of dead canes from the previous years and in need of cosmetic cleaning. You should cut them down to the stub and remove completely. While this could be done in a spring as well, I would of rather do it in a fall, when foliage fall down.
The only reason for that is that in a fall you'll be able to clearly see what is the old dead wood and what is not. In a spring completely dead and not dead, but just dormant yet, canes may look very similar for untrained eye.
Re: PG.
Basically answer is the same as above with only difference that while at the pruning task I would of try to save as many vertical shoots as I could. To prevent snow breakage you may want to remove flowerheads in a fall.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 12:53AM
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Bethpen

Thank you very much for your advice. I will go out there this afternoon and clean up a bit. It is amazing how things go haywire with one season of maintanence missed.(not that I really knew what I was doing in the first place)

Is there a forum for butterfly bushes? Those are taller than me too....

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:08AM
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ego45(6bCT)

No, there is no special forum for buddleias exist, but rules for them in z5-6 are fairly simple: cut everything down to 6-12" in early spring. That's it. They'll grow back in no time.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 11:24AM
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