Last updated on September 21st, 2021
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To take advantage of these hydrangeas that are specially bred to produce many blooms over a long period, you definitely should deadhead them.
Why should I deadhead Endless Summer hydrangeas?
Endless summer hydrangeas are specially bred to produce flowers from spring through to autumn. This cultivar is unique in that the flowers bloom both on old wood (from previous years) and new wood (this year’s growth). With this long blooming period and flowers growing everywhere, chances are that you’ll have dying flowers alongside newly blooming ones.
Deadheading removes the dead or dying flowers and stems, leaving more plant energy to go to the growing parts of the plant. Plus it improves the visual appearance of the plant.
You don’t have to deadhead, you can always wait for the flowers to fall off on their own. But this isn’t the most efficient and effective use of the plant’s limited energy resources.
Is deadheading the same as pruning?
Do not confuse deadheading with pruning. Deadheading is the selective removal of fading and dead flowers which you do when needed. Pruning is a more aggressive process and involves the removal of dead or diseased branches and stems. Deadheading and pruning are done at different times and in different parts of the plant’s growing cycle.
When do I deadhead an Endless Summer hydrangea?
In the summer, as needed
There’s no set time to deadhead an Endless Summer hydrangea. The goal is to remove the fading flowers so they don’t unnecessarily take away the plant’s energy from the blooming buds. With the constant flowering of this hydrangea plant, keep an eye out for blooms to fade and deadhead the plant regularly. The best time to catch the bloom is after it’s reached its peak maturity or best look. Many Endless Summer varieties have two rounds of blooming, so deadhead after the first one, usually in early summer.
Not in the autumn or winter
After the second round of blooming or in the late autumn, you can choose to leave the dead blooms on your hydrangea plant instead of deadheading them. Not only do they protect the flower buds that develop for the spring but they also add some architectural floral interest to an otherwise dreary winter garden landscape.
In the spring, at the start of the growing season
If you leave the dead blooms on the plant over winter as we recommend, then you need to deadhead them in the spring. This is the time to be really careful of how you do it as the new buds are developing underneath them and you don’t want to accidentally remove them as well.
How do I deadhead an Endless Summer Hydrangea?
It’s not difficult to deadhead this hydrangea plant but you do need to be careful. Here’s how to do it.
- Lift the fading bloom up gently.
- Look underneath it and underneath the leaves on the branch. You’re looking for small developing buds growing there. You may not find any in summer but in the spring (and the autumn if you’re removing the blooms for winter) there should be plenty.
- Clip the blooms off where they meet the branch, cutting above the new growth. If there are no new buds, look down the stem to the next set of large leaves and cut closely above that.
- Regularly wipe down your clippers with rubbing alcohol. This stops you transmitting any fungus or disease from one hydrangea branch to the next.
Can I cut the hydrangea flowers for a bouquet?
This is how you can deadhead the flowers before they reach maturity if you want to display them in a bouquet or a vase.
- Select flowers that are just about to look their best.
- Cut off the stems of these flowers, 25cm to 30cm long. Look for new buds and cut carefully as in the instructions given above.
We have a wealth of information about hydrangeas for you. Check out our Growing hydrangeas – the beginner’s guide, Hydrangea leaf problems and Hydrangea pests and diseases articles for current and useful information.