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Climbing hydrangeas reach heights of 15 meters and widths of up to five meters. Regular pruning ensures that the trees stay in shape and shine with lush flowers every year.


Young plants do not need to be cut regularly until they are eight years old, as they grow slowly and have not yet bloomed. Older, established climbing hydrangeas can grow by a meter per year, making regular pruning a necessary maintenance measure. Pruning measures should be based on the flowering period, because climbing hydrangeas form fresh buds in autumn after flowering. They bloom on one-year-old wood, which is why you should avoid pruning too late. The latest pruning time is just after flowering, before new flowering plants are developed. This is what your cutting calendar looks like over the course of the year:

  • Training cut: possible annually between February and March
  • Cut as needed: every year shortly after flowering between May and July
  • Shape cut: from the eighth year regularly in spring
  • Rejuvenation pruning: for older climbing hydrangeas every four to five years from February to March

Notice: If you cut young plants, you should use scissors in late summer. In this way, interfaces can be closed up to the onset of winter and you prevent frost damage.

Observe the Federal Nature Conservation Act - According to §39 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act, it is not permitted to cut trees radically between March 1st and September 31st. Shaping cuts are permitted provided there are no nesting birds in the wood. Therefore, before any cutting action that you have to carry out in summer, check whether nests have already been made in the thicket. If that's the case, you'll have to wait until the end of the bird breeding season.

Education and needs cut

As the name suggests, an on-demand cut takes place when needed. The measure is closely linked to the educational cut. Both pruning methods are used to promote the vitality of the climbing hydrangea or to keep the growth small. If the flowering ornamental perennials grow on a house wall, you should keep a special eye on protruding branches. If these are not trimmed, they can become quite heavy over time and pull the entire plant away from the wall. Remove anything that bothers you or robs the growth of its strength:

  • Remove faded inflorescences just above the first pair of buds
  • cut dead and diseased branches at the base
  • Thin out weak and disturbing shoots
  • Cut off frozen and dead branches
  • Keep branches protruding from the wall small

Tip: Clean cut edges are the be-all and end-all, because this way the plant can close its wounds more quickly. Put the pruning shears on straight to keep the cutting area as small as possible.


When your hydrangeas are out of shape, they no longer appear aesthetically pleasing. If the plants carry too much weight on one side, they tend to tip over. Shaping cuts are necessary to rid the plant of excess ballast and to ensure better aeration. This ensures a dry microclimate in which neither fungal spores nor pests feel comfortable. Follow these steps:

  • completely cut weak shoots
  • remove brittle wood as a precaution
  • Thin out branches that are too close together
  • Cut deadwood at the base

taper cut

Because this cut is radical, it should be done purposefully and with care. This drastic rejuvenation measure is necessary when climbing hydrangeas slowly lose their willingness to bloom, lose vitality or the height is to be restricted. A rejuvenating pruning stimulates growth, because due to the lack of main shoots, the flowering bush has to sprout from the dormant eyes created in the early growth stage and develop a new framework. Depending on the thickness of the branch, we recommend using pruning shears or a saw. How to do it right:

  • to maintain size, clip overly long side branches to short cones
  • shorten the scaffolding drives by a maximum of two thirds to limit the height
  • ideally cut back main branches to 2.5 meters
  • do not shorten all the main shoots, so that the flowering does not suffer
  • it is better to cut back a few branches over a period of several years

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