How To Prune An Oakleaf Hydrangea: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Oakleaf hydrangeas are a beautiful and popular addition to any garden or landscape. Pruning oakleaf hydrangea is an essential part of their maintenance, as it helps to promote healthy growth and maintain the plant’s shape. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to prune oakleaf hydrangea.

Understanding Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Oakleaf hydrangeas, like all varieties of hydrangea, flower on old wood. This means that the buds for next year’s flowers form on stems produced in the previous growing season. As a result, pruning your oakleaf hydrangea at the wrong time can result in fewer blooms for the following year.

When To Prune Your Oakleaf Hydrangea

The best time to prune your oak leaf hydrangea is immediately after it has finished flowering. This usually occurs sometime between late spring and early summer when the plant stops producing new blooms.

In general, it is recommended that you avoid pruning your oak leaf hydrangea during fall or winter months when temperatures drop below freezing levels. This could damage vulnerable branches leading to distorted growth or even death of some parts of your plant.

How To Prune Your Oak Leaf Hydrangea

1) Start by removing deadwood from around the base of your plant using sharp pruning shears.
2) Cut back excessively long shoots above 3 feet tall by one-third length.
3) Remove damaged leaves as well as any diseased foliage from around stem tips before they exhibit signs such as discoloration or yellowing.
4) Cut off old faded flower heads just at their base leaving out newly formed buds which would likely blossom next growing season.
5) Thin out overcrowded branches using loppers/ratchet pruners with maximum cuts not exceeding one-quarter diameter (to avoid cutting too deeply into living tissue).
6) Lastly trim down small poorly positioned twigs obstructing the healthy growth of larger stems or branches.

It’s important to note that oakleaf hydrangeas should not be pruned too heavily. Over pruning can stunt their growth and reduce next year’s blooms. Be sure to only remove dead or damaged wood, thin out overcrowded branches, and shape the plant as needed.


Pruning your oakleaf hydrangea is a necessary task that can help promote healthy growth, maintain its shape, and encourage more blooms in future growing seasons. By following these simple pruning techniques, you can ensure that your plant remains happy and healthy for years to come.