Garden Detective

Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.

Can hydrangeas be safely pruned now?

(Credit: PHOTO BY BILL DAVIS)

Dear Jessica,

My wife did not want me to touch the hydrangeas (macrophylla), and now it is too late to prune. What can I do at this late time? Do I just leave them as is? Or can I cut back a little. I cut them back to the ground last year and only had one flower. Please advise so I don't get in trouble with my wife again. Thanks Gene Okray

Dear Gene,

The most you can do now without...

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Mailbag: How to prune evergreens

I have a few English Ilex which are at least 15 years old and are much too large. I would like to cut them way back. When is the proper time to cut them? Also, when is a good time to cut a baby blue spruce? -- Owen Costello Spruce trees seldom require pruning. But if you believe yours does, identify the branches you want to cut back, and trim each to where side buds are visible. This...

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