Dead Heading Hydrangeas

The once brilliant blooms on your Hydrangeas are now brown and crispy. They look especially horrible as they float above the plant on leafless stems. Is it ok to cut them off? Sure!

Flower heads that are not removed this time of year, are very likely to break off anyway and blow around the yard during winter. They will collect in the strangest places; in window wells, at the base of stone walls and most egregiously — inside your Spiraeas! Spent Hydrangea blossoms are easily pruned away. Just cut above a healthy set of buds below the flower.

If you would rather not do yard work this time of year, don’t worry, there is no harm in leaving them on the plant. Actually, some gardeners feel strongly that they protect the buds at the tips of the branches. I’ve never found that to be the case on Nantucket, so I happily dead-head away.

Dead Heading Hydrangea