by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Moving Into Summer June is traditionally the month for weddings. In our family, my wife Linda and I were married in June, as were our two married sons. I read somewhere that in the past few years October has become a favorite month to get married. The f lower theme for my middle sonâ€™s wedding were bigleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, also called French, Japanese, or snowball hydrangea. This is the most well-known type of hydrangea. Fortunately, between the plants in my yard, some friendsâ€™ yards, and with some from the f lorist, we were able to have a nice supply of these blooms for the wedding. Bigleaf hydrangeas are the one that change the f lower color from pink to blue or from blue to pink by adjusting the soil pH. There are more than 500 known cultivars of bigleaf hydrangeas in the nursery trade. Often gardeners question when to prune them. As a general rule, pruning spring f low-
ering shrubs and trees is done right after they finish f lowering. This also applies to bigleaf hydrangeas. Prune them when the f lowers begin to fade. Prune out f lower heads and head back other shoots, as necessary, to encourage branching and fullness. Flower buds will begin forming in late summer for the following season, so avoid pruning after August 1. Sometimes it is necessary to prune plants after a harsh winter to remove damaged foliage. Although this will encourage vegetative growth at the expense of f low83