Some hydrangeas are pruned in the fall, some in early spring and some not at all.

How am I to know which variety my hydrangea is and when it is supposed to be pruned or not? Proven-Winners has the simple answer.

Of the 49 species of hydrangeas, four are native to America and only six types generally grown in our gardens. Those that produce flower buds on old wood are bigleaf (mophead and lacecap), oakleaf, climbing and mountain. New wood bloomers include panicle (PG or peegee) and smooth (Annabelle series).

By not pruning old wood that produces buds formed earlier this year, they are more apt to be protected over winter.

Late freezes do not harm new wood bloomers as their buds are set after chance of a spring freeze. If buds are frozen, more will be produced.

New Proven-Winners(P-W) this year include old wood bigleaf (aka florist, mophead or lacecap), Let’s Dance Can Do and Let’s Dance Do It. Both stunning.

New wood introductions include Firelight Tidbit, dwarf bush with large flower heads and Quick Fire Fab (true to its Fab name).

Both are panicle or peegee so named for its panicles(cluster of flowers) of large or grandiflora flower heads.

There is an hydrangea for every situation from 1-2’ to 4-6’, colors from white to magenta and almost every color in between, easy to grow, bloom seemingly forever and some repeat. They do best in moist well drained soil and more sun than generally given. Peegees are known for their sun tolerance.

They are shallow rooted and will dry quickly. Mulch helps retain water.

You know that hydrangeas likes water, but did you know that “hydra” refers to the seed capsules that resemble ancient Greek water-carrier vessels according to P-W.


Goldenrod has come into full bloom. Our state flower is not the cause of allergic reaction as its pollen is heavy and falls to the ground. The pollen of ragweed, its companion is light-weight and blows in the wind.

Allow fall asters to remain over winter and cut back early spring.

Garden — Cut a few Shasta daisies to enjoy inside. At three years, Shasta will begin to become leggy and needs to be removed.

Each year replace the oldest and plant with new to have continuous dense blooming and healthy plants. Leave rose hips and dead roses on the bush. Hips feed birds while dead roses indicate to the bush cease blooming. Add a tablespoon of bleach and of sugar to half gallon of water to keep cut roses fresh.

Lawn — Raking time is here. For less back stress from raking, pull the rake toward you as you walk away from the leaves. Form rows of leaves, mow using a mulching blade and repeat in the opposite direction to break down the leaves enough over winter to add nutrients and improve soil quality.

Trees and shrubs — Plant trees and shrubs. Viburnums create a great screen to block a bad view and are not picky about soil or environment. Pick up walnut and buckeye seeds daily. Bending over or squatting to pick up is good exercise and prevents tripping on the pellicle (heavy seed coating) and reduces lawnmower thrown projectiles. Recycle vines that were removed from trees, lawn and beds to make wreaths and baskets. Order live or cut Christmas tree from a reputable nursery.

Vegetable — Pick species or wild persimmon fruit once it has colored up but still hard and ripen inside. It will ripen after picking. Pick hybridized varieties when they have ripened on the tree. Recycle spent vegetables by removing and adding to compost. Never compost disease and insect infested plants.


Today Ice House Annual Gourd Festival, 120 N. 8th St., Mayfield, gourds, art, family activities, music, food, etc. — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rescheduled for today due to rain.

Contact Carolyn Roof, the Sun’s gardening columnist, at

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