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Not only is Marianne terrific as our Ask The Expert columnist, but she also is well renowned in the gardening community, has authored numerous gardening books and currently trains Master Gardeners throughout the state of Washington. Meet Marianne
kabowolf : 12/22/2012
I am confused about hydrangeas! Someone told me to cut all the dead blossoms off now and someone else said that doing that will not have a full plant of flowers in the summer! What is the proper care? Enjoy your column! firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't worry, everyone is confused by hydrangeas when it comes to pruning. It is always okay to prune off the dead flowers of hydrangeas any time of year. Some hydrangeas will only bloom on two year old branches but the new Endless Summer hydrangeas bloom on both new wood and old wood. So to be safe, snip off the dead flowers if you so desire, but don't cut back every branch unless you are sure you have a new re-blooming hydrangea. The older hydrangea varieties flower on two year old wood. Old wood is brown or woody. New wood is green or supple. If you have the room for a giant shrub, don't prune at all. Some of the best looking hydraneas are shrubs allowed to grow into huge monsters, covered with blooms. Keep growing, Marianne Binetti
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Hand pick caterpillars from the plant. If this is impossible look for a spray containing BT (Bacillus thunberis) which is a natural bacteria.