My annabelle hydrangea is drastically ovegrowing our sidewalk, impeding strollers/prams etc. Can I just hack it back to a more reasonable size now (in full glorious bloom), or do I have to wait until late fall/winter? With all the rain this spring/summer it has never been so vigorous, and I would prefer not to actually kill it, but I am getting annoyed looks from the passers-by.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about your Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. This type of hydrangea is a vigorous and reliable garden shrub. It forms beautiful hedges and with its giant white blooms, stands out in any garden.
Below is a comprehensive Gardening Guide from Toronto Master Gardeners about all types of Hydrangea.
Many clients have asked about pruning this type of plant and below is a previous answer from the Toronto Master Gardeners website, detailing the hardiness and resilience of these shrubs after pruning. If the branches are interfering with your walkway, you could selectively prune them back to about 8 inches from the ground. Since this shrub blooms on new wood, next spring the blooms will be back. The entire plant can either be cut down to 8 inches in the fall or the blooms can be left for winter interest in your garden. Enjoy those gorgeous, white “snowballs” on your Annabelle.