Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to Prune Pee Gee Hydrangeas and Wisteria: Before Spring Growth Resumes

February is the time in my garden to prune the pee gee hydrangeas and the wisteria. I have two pee gee hydrangea standards: one along my front walk (pictured before and after pruning) in the Front Border and another along the fence in the back garden. I do this primarily because space is limited where it's growing and, secondly, by pruning it I get more blooms (for a picture of the blooms, click here: http://heirloomgardener.blogspot.com/2008/01/front-border-in-summer-plan-for-new.html).


The best time to do this is when the plant is dormant, before the buds begin to swell. If you wait until spring growth resumes, you risk removing this year's flowers. Pruning can be done in the early winter, but you will miss the lovely dried blooms during the winter. Every year I prune away the previous year's growth for the one along the walkway. I also take out any twiggy branches that have died back during the winter. For the other which has more space allotted to it, I trim it back to shape it and remove spindly growth.

The wisteria I have is grown as a tree, but the pruning for it is the same as it would be for one grown against a wall. Each branch is cut back to the third or forth bud and any wispy growth is removed. The wisteria is good now until mid summer at which point it will need pruning again.
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Here is a picture of the same pee gee hydrangea in bloom:

5 comments:

Frances said...

This is a task we also do, with the standart peegees. But I don't see a stake to hold it up. I have sturdy metal fence posts with copper wire loosely wrapped to hold that heavy top up in high winds. Maybe against your house it is safe? Just pruned mine yesterday.

Frances at Faire Garden

heirloomgardener said...

Frances,

We're on the same schedule! What's next?

No, neither of our pee gee hydrangeas need stakes to hold them up, but our wisteria does need one.

-Heirloom Gardener

Minnesota Kathi said...

I look forward to seeing some photograph's of your wisteria. I've never actually seen wisteria except for pictures, it looks so beautiful! I don't believe it's zone hardy in MN.

Kathi :)

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