Which Hydrangeas Bloom on Old Wood?

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include mophead, lacecap, and oakleaf varieties. These hydrangeas produce buds on the previous season’s growth, so pruning should be done carefully to avoid cutting off potential blooms.

Hydrangeas are a popular garden plant known for their large, showy blooms and easy maintenance. However, not all hydrangeas bloom on old wood. Some varieties, such as panicle and smooth hydrangeas, bloom on new wood that grows in the current season. Understanding which hydrangeas bloom on old wood is crucial for proper pruning and maintenance. Mophead, lacecap and oakleaf hydrangeas produce buds on the growth from the previous year, so pruning these varieties should be handled with care. Cutting off potential buds can result in little to no blooms in the coming season. By taking the time to properly care for hydrangeas that bloom on old wood, gardeners can enjoy stunning blooms year after year.

Which Hydrangeas Bloom on Old Wood?

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What Is Old Wood?

Old wood refers to the branches on a hydrangea plant that have been around for more than a year. The age of wood influences the plant’s ability to flower. Certain hydrangea varieties, such as mophead and lacecap, bloom on old wood, while others, such as oakleaf and panicle, bloom on new wood.

Identifying old wood is easy – it is darker in color and has a rougher texture than newer branches. When pruning hydrangeas that bloom on old wood, be careful not to cut off the old branches. Doing so would eliminate the possibility of the plant producing flowers, at least for that year.

Reminder: always check the specific care instructions for your hydrangea variety when pruning.

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Hydrangeas That Bloom On Old Wood:

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood are known for their ability to produce flowers on the previous year’s growth. These plants typically require minimal pruning and benefit from being left alone to do their thing. The most popular old wood hydrangeas include the bigleaf (hydrangea macrophylla), lacecap (hydrangea serrata), and oakleaf (hydrangea quercifolia) varieties.

When these hydrangeas go dormant in the fall, the buds for next year’s blooms form on the old wood. If you prune these plants in the spring, you risk removing those buds and sacrificing a season of blossoms. By planting old wood hydrangeas in the right location and taking care to preserve the old growth, you can enjoy a beautiful display of blooms year after year.

How to Tell if Your Hydrangea Blooms on Old Wood

Hydrangeas That Bloom On New Wood:

Some varieties of hydrangeas, such as those that bloom on new wood, are a great option if you’re looking to plant shrubs in your garden. New wood hydrangeas typically bloom in late summer or fall, and their flowers can have distinct shapes and colors depending on the type of hydrangea.

Popular new wood hydrangeas include annabelle, smooth and panicle types. Annabelle hydrangeas have round, pure white flowers that can grow up to a foot in size. Smooth hydrangeas have large, flat blooms that are usually pink or white. Panicle hydrangeas have cone-shaped flowers that come in a range of colors from white to pink to red.

Whether you’re new to hydrangeas or already a fan, consider adding a few new wood varieties to your garden to enjoy their unique beauty.

Benefits Of Knowing Which Hydrangeas Bloom On Old Wood

Knowing which hydrangeas bloom on old wood can save gardeners time, money, and effort. By practicing proper pruning and care for these particular hydrangeas, you can ensure optimal flowering and overall plant health. Understanding the impact that old wood hydrangeas have on garden design and landscape planning is critical to achieving the desired aesthetics.

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To maximize blooming potential and maintain healthy plants, gardeners should follow specific tips, which may include techniques such as using a balanced fertilizer, avoiding overwatering, and planting in well-draining soil. By taking the time to learn about and care for old wood hydrangeas, gardeners can successfully incorporate these beautiful plants into their landscapes.


Hydrangeas are iconic garden shrubs that bring unmatched beauty and color to any landscape. Knowing which ones bloom on old wood is crucial to ensure healthy and bountiful blooms every year. From the popular mophead to the graceful lacecap, hydrangeas offer a wide range of options for gardeners.

By understanding your specific plant’s growth habits, you can ensure its longevity and success in your garden. Whether you prefer the classic pink, white, or blue blooms or are eyeing the unique sepals, hydrangeas are undeniably favorites for garden enthusiasts.

Armed with knowledge of which hydrangeas bloom on old wood, you can tend to your shrub with confidence and enjoy its gorgeous blooms for years to come with proper care and maintenance.