Prune my hydrangeas in December? No Way!


Pruning hydrangeas in Northern California is entirely different from the colder parts of the country. What you read in most gardening magazines doesn’t always apply here because our hydrangeas are looking pretty awesome right now! I mean really…who in their right mind would want to prune off these gorgeous blooms! The photo at left was taken December 7th and see how beautiful my hydrangea bush still looks?

Many garden magazines are printed back East, where their hydrangeas are already covered with a lovely blanket of snow, securely tucked in for the winter. Here in the Bay Area, though, most of ours will never see a snowflake (and for those folks a bit farther north of us, it won’t be for another month or so).

So what to do?

You probably realize you were supposed to prune your hydrangeas back at some point this year, to encourage new growth and therefore new buds for next year’s flowers. But you probably didn’t do it, did you.  You couldn’t bear to hack off those gorgeous blooms. Well despair not! Take a look at this video to see how and when to prune your hydrangea so you can still keep your blooms for a little while longer AND ensure you still get new buds for next year.

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  • You are adorable in video, Rebecca! I love this. Here, our Hydrangeas seem to finish earlier than yours do – we’re about six hours north in coastal Humboldt County. Only one or two varieties are still hanging on with anything approaching grace in November/ December.
    I think it’s awesome that bloggers are now helping to make regionally-appropriate advice available. You are so right that so many garden mags are centered back east and so their pruning times are a bit off of ours.

    • Thanks for the sweet compliments, Gen! I completely agree with you – we need more regionally appropriate advice — especially in California where there are just SO many zones! I wish I had more time for making videos…but as long as you keep making yours I’ll be happy (as will my clients – who really appreciate the ones I forward to them – keep up the good work!)

  • I’m green with envy over how beautiful your front yard looks. Mine is brown and frozen. (sniff sniff). What’s the name of that hydrangea? It’s lovely!

    PS – love the square wreath!

    • Thanks, Steve, for the compliments! That hydrangea is awesome, isn’t it? I wish I knew the name of it…it was purchased over 15 years ago at (get this…) Home Depot – with one of their typically vague plant tags on it (‘Pink Hydrangea’). It’s the softest pink color, then turns a fabulous shade of cranberry, and topping out at about 4′. (I love the square wreath, too – anything to be a little ‘different’!!) Happy New Year!

  • I’m so glad I watched this…I thought I had to prune my Hydrangeas every year! Geez…I should really know this by now….thanks!
    P.S. …move over Martha!


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