Rachel De Thame visited Trebah back in September of 2013 to talk all things Hydrangea with Darren our Head Gardener.
As Hydrangea pruning season is upon us this episode will include hints and tips on how to get magnificent blooms.
Our stunning collection covers two acres in Hydrangea Valley, a truly magnificent sight in late summer, early autumn.
Apparently Hydrangeas do not need pruning but if left unpruned the bushes will produce a large number of flower heads the size of a tennis ball supported on old thin stems. Given that the majority of the mophead Hydrangeas at Trebah are over 60 years old and continue to produce enormous flower heads on an annual basis, we must be doing something right!
This is the way we do it - because of where we are (in one of the mildest parts of the country) and the number of Hydrangeas we have to deal with; we commence pruning early, in mid-February. Every year a third of the old stems are cut down to the base of the plant - this revitalizes the plant and promotes replacement growth that will be more floriferous. Crossing branches are also removed and the remaining branches are pruned back to just above a flower bud.
The clippings from the Hydrangeas are shredded and put around the base of the plants to act as a mulch. Hydrangeas hate being too dry; the combination of growing beside the natural watercourse and the regular mulching they receive gives them ideal conditions at Trebah.