Stop the Hydrangea Flop!

By Kerry Ann Mendez

The flowers of some Hydrangeas tend to flop as a result of heavy blooms. One or two flowers with "poor posture" is no reason to become distraught, but when the majority are bent over, then intervention is called for.

To be fair, younger shrubs lack sturdy stems that over time will be able to support heftier blooms. As the shrub matures, so will the girth and strength of bloom-bearing branches, but even branches of mature shrubs can stoop from dense flowerheads weighed down by rain or overhead irrigation. There are several options to remedy the situation:

  1. Gently shake water from the blooms to release excess weight. The flowers will continue to bounce back as the remaining water evaporates.
  2. Trim away some of the bloom to reduce the floral mass. Using hand pruners, reach inside the bloom and snip a section off. Yes, the flower will be a tad smaller but its striking pose is sure to be noticed.

Below are some before and after photos showing the results of pruning three different species of Hydrangea:

Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo'

Before

BEFORE

After

AFTER

Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Ruby'

Before

BEFORE

After

AFTER

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bloomstruck'

Before

BEFORE

After

AFTER

Kerry Ann Mendez KERRY ANN MENDEZ is an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant based in southern Maine. Her latest book is The Budget-Wise Gardener. You'll now find her at our Kennebunk store consulting on garden design, answering your gardening questions and much more.