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Why is it so scary to prune Nikko Blues?

Posted by iheartflowers MA (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 14, 08 at 8:12

Whenever I ask people about pruning their nikko blues,m or even researching on the internet, I keep finding the same answer: Dont prune them. If you prune them, they wont bloom.

I have a few properties that I work on where the hydrangeas must be pruned to give it a nice shape. So last year, I just went for it, in November. I took about three feet off of all of the Nikko blues and gave them a nice shape. I also took off the oldest looking canes to the ground. I warned the homeowners that the hydrangeas woould not bloom the following year. They aggreed that it would be worth it because the hydrangeas had gotten to be too big. The next season, They BLOOMED! What the heck!?

Should I prune them every year in November? I thought for sure that I had pruned off the buds.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why is it so scary to prune Nikko Blues?

My mother has a plant that came labeled as Nikko Blue. However it dies back to the ground every year. So I cut off all the old stalks in spring, clean up the clump and let the new growth come on. One year I left old stalks, but they got no new growth, just dried out old stems.

Blooming on new growth each year, there really is no shaping to be done. No old woody stems either. Gets about 40 inches tall, nice and lush, fuller over time.

So I have to wonder if plant was mislabeled or if it grows differently in other locales. She is solid z5, with cold winters, deep snow, just south of Kalamzoo.

Plant comes back nicely each year, blooms well, mid-july. Lovely flowers, very full, last a long time.

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