By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is the time of year I reach for the shears, not to trim a hedge, but rather to deadhead plants covered with browned flowers; including dianthus, bee balm, shrub roses and certain hydrangeas.

Wait a minute, didn’t I just tell you this spring NOT to prune your old-fashioned pink and blue hydrangeas? Yes, that’s because the old-fashioned big leaf hydrangeas with pink or blue flowers bloom on old wood, (last year’s branches), so I don’t touch those, or they might not bloom again next spring. But lots of us have the newer hydrangea varieties that keep flowering all season – with names like Endless Summer and other ever-blooming monikers.

These prolific reblooming hydrangeas actually perk up when you cut off those heavy browning blossoms and I find shearing very satisfying – it’s fun and fast. Even if you have to touch up a little with the pruners later, with a few quick snips of the shears, the brown heads fall away so your garden looks cleaner already. And then, your ever-blooming hydrangea can start making fresh pink and blue flowers again.

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