Summer Hydrangea Pruning for Double Blooms Next Year

October 14, 2020

In late summer when the hydrangea blooms have begun to fade and dry, comes a perfect time to do a little shaping of your macrophyllas that can also pay you back double for your work in blossoms. A simple and delicate hydrangea pruning for double blooms is one way to encourage more flowers from what otherwise would have been a single blossom during next year’s growing season.

This year’s blooms were nothing short of spectacular.  This mature Endless Summer macrophylla that greets folks along their way to my front door. I pruned this bush last year, the way I am going to show you below with the above results.

Now late summer, as you can see the same hydrangea is looking a bit tired.

Summer hydrangea pruning

The blossoms are beginning to fade and dry.  This is all normal for hydrangeas.  They make beautiful wreaths.  I’ve got a tutorial here. Do you see the stems that are sticking up above the general shape of the hydrangea bush?  There are about eight in the above photo from this angle. They simple jut out above the top of the natural shape of the hydrangea.  These are the ones that you are going to prune, but the trick is, to know exactly where to prune.

Keep in mind that you are only going to make a single cut on the branch that extends out above the natural shape of the bush. Also keep in mind that this is for macrophylla pruning.  The firsts step is to locate just at the edge of the natural shape of the hydrangea, the two healthy “nodes” called leaf buds. Do you see them below my pruners?

summer hydrangea pruning

Here are the two healthy leaf buds that are located on the branch at the edge of the natural shape.  This is where you will make your cut.  Like so.

summer pruning hydrangeas

Come next growing season, each one of these buds will produce a new branch each with a bloom from what was initially going to be a single branch and single bloom. You don’t want to go crazy, but simply just prune the branches that are jutting out above the natural shape.  Here you can see that I did just that below.  The hydrangea has regained its shape.

Typically, this type of late summer pruning for double hydrangea blooms should be done after your hydrangea shrub has finished blooming for the current year’s growing season.

after photo of pruned hydrangea


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4 thoughts on “Summer Hydrangea Pruning for Double Blooms Next Year”

  1. Hi! I came across your website looking for info on quilt boxes for bee hives. I decided to follow your suggestions with a candy board and quilt box. We are going into our 5th year with bees, about a 50% loss overall. My question is this: do you cover your screened bottom board with the corrugated board for varroa mite testing in the winter or do you leave it open? Thank you!

    • Yes, I do insert the IPM board during the winter. Also, be sure you are treating for varroa too. I’m not sure where you live but you should do a treatment late summer (August) to prepare for winter. Fall treatments are often too late as we are learning now. Hope this all helps.

    • It may simply be too hot there and your climate may not be best suited for growing hydrangeas. For example, macrophylla grow best in zones 6-9 and Florida’s growing zones range from 8-11. I would encourage you to reach out to your local Master Gardener’s Group through you County Extension office and perhaps they can give you some more information/tips/suggestions. I’m not familiar with growing in your zone. Good luck!


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.