I want to transplant my ten year old standard hydrangea. I also want to prune it. I am in Etobicoke and would like to do this soon. My question is, is it a good time to transplant, and should I prune before, after or not at all? With thanks.
The best time to transplant a hydrangea is in the winter, around November or December, when it is dormant and has lost its leaves. The riskiest time is in the spring, when it’s leaves are starting to emerge. If you can’t transplant in the winter, transplant the hydrangea in the early summer, after the threat of a late spring frost is past, or in the fall, after the height of summer heat is over. Water the plants well after transplanting to help reduce transplant shock.
When digging a hydrangea to transplant, dig up as much of the rootball as possible. Hydrangeas must be kept well watered for the first and second summer after they are transplanted but don’t over-water, which encourages root rot. Deep watering with a hose is more beneficial than watering with a sprinkler.
In regards to whether you should prune the hydrangea or not, you didn’t mention what variety of hydrangea you had. Not all of these shrubs should be pruned at the same time. Those that bloom on old growth should only be pruned after flowering. Those that bloom on new growth should be pruned in spring or as they are going dormant in fall. Here is a great article from Fine Gardening Magazine that will tell you how to prune each variety.
I hope that you find the perfect spot and that your hydrangea thrives.