Deadheading Hydrangeas: Should You Deadhead Hydrangea Plants?

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Hydrangeas are lovely flowering shrubs that like a shady setting. But, some varieties do well with some sun. Hydrangeas in sunny settings need more water for blooms and to maintain foliage.

Homeowners love Hydrangeas for the big show of flowers. But should you deadhead Hydrangeas?

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Should You Cut And Deadhead Hydrangea Blooms?

You can cut Hydrangea blooms for fresh flower arrangements or dried arrangements, but there are a few tricks to it. 

Freshly flowered hydrangeas are beautiful in the garden, but cutting the blooms early on is not recommended because the freshly cut, young flowers will not hold up when placed in water.

Related: What Is The Best Soil For My Hydrangea Plant?

For this reason, if you are cutting Hydrangeas for a flower arrangement, you should wait several weeks after a bloom opens completely before cutting it.

When you cut Hydrangeas for arrangements, you should do the following:

  • Trim all foliage from the stem and soak the stems in cold water to remove the oxygen bubble from the stem.
  • Then, seal the end of the stem with florist alum gel, or you can dip the stem’s tip in boiling water. 

Mature Hydrangea blooms can also be dried for use in dry flower arrangements.

For the best results, wait a couple of months after blooms have opened to cut them for drying. The head of the bloom should look papery. 

Gather these blooms in the morning. After cutting, remove all foliage from the stems.

To dry the blooms, you can either hang them upside down or place them in a vase with just a small amount of water on the bottom. 

Place the cut blooms in an area with good air circulation and no direct sunlight.

Once the flowers have dried completely, you can spray paint them for inclusion in artistic arrangements.

Related: Is It Possible Overwater Hydrangeas?

Benefits Of Deadheading Hydrangeas

There is also a benefit in simply deadheading your Hydrangeas.

Cutting away spent blooms encourages the plant to produce more blooms. It also helps keep your hydrangeas tidy-looking throughout the growing season. 

For the best results, you should also be sure to have the right tools on hand. You’ll need good scissor-like shears with long handles and sharp blades.

Your shears should be strong enough to cut through stems as large as a half inch in diameter. 

When Should You Deadhead Hydrangeas?

It’s good to deadhead Hydrangeas early in spring when the first flush of flowers has sprouted.

This removes older flowers from the preceding season and stimulates more flower production for the current season. 

You can either trim the blooms away at the first set of leaves below the bloom or cut deeper to encourage longer stem growth.

Just be sure you do it before the end of July. Deadheading with deep cuts very late in the growing season can interfere with bud production for flowers in the coming year.

Related: Can You Overwater Hydrangeas?

In mid-season (July and August), you can deadhead the blooms at the first set of leaves to encourage a second flush of blooms in the fall. 

When flowers begin to fade at the very end of the growing season, you can deadhead them at the first set of leaves below the bloom or leave them in place to dry on the plant for winter interest. Finally, you can cut these back at the end of winter. 

If you leave blooms on your plant through the winter, it’s a good idea to wait until your plants produce buds in the springtime before you clip away the dried flowers. 

This way, you will not risk cutting off new growth. 

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