Hard Pruning Panicle Hydrangeas in Front - March 2023

With the flip last week on Daylight Savings Time, it means that I now get a little bit of post-work garden time.  It isn't dark when I close my laptop, so that's kinda nice.  With the calendar being mid-March, I'm now trying to find garden tasks that I can take on while balancing the guidance of *not doing too much cleanup* too early.  One of the tasks that I decided to do this past week was a look at some cleanup in the front yard - including pruning some of my hydrangeas.  

In past years, I have done what I'll call a 'light' pruning - lop'ing off the thin branching, but mostly leaving about 2/3rds of the shrub intact.  After watching some YouTube videos and working up the courage to go at them pretty hard, I decided to give theses a harder prune this late Winter.

First up, the pair of (larger) Limelight Hydrangeas on the side of our front porch.  Here's what they look like right before pruning - all of the flower heads still attached (photo below) with some of them close to the railing of the porch.

And...here (below) is what they look like after that pruning.   Quite a cut-back - at least...for this gardener.  I've never done such a hard prune on these before, so I'll be watching these this year.

Next...the Strawberry Vanilla hydrangeas up in front.  I need to replace one of these, but I also pruned back the other three.  See below for the current state:

Similar to the Limelight variety, I'll be watching these to see how they do - both with new growth AND how they flower.  

I'm filing this under my soon-to-be-published 2023 to-do list as a 'seasonal task'.


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