Isn't this amazing? It could also encourage rodent activity during the winter and subsequent stem damage from the rodents. Lay down 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) of mulch around the plant base. If not, your plant simply will not bloom come spring [source: Heuerman]. This way, the hydrangea doesn't give unnecessary energy to the dead branches. When cold temperatures and winter weather, such as snow, sleet, wind and ice set in, it's easier to stay inside when you know your shrubs are safe and sound. We absolutely love this idea from Katelin Alison. Get the latest updates on new products and upcoming sales. The hydrangea is a plant that can survive through winter and is not sensitive to low temperatures or even a freeze. Important: Since hydrangeas tend to set their blooms on the ends of the branches, it is important to keep these covered all winter. Cut the material to fit and attach with garden clips, wire, or plastic ties. NOTE: One word of warning- Before purchasing a hydrangea that you know will need winter protection to bloom in your area, keep this in mind. In colder zones mulching protects and insulates the crown and roots of your hydrangeas from extreme winter temperatures; in warmer zones it helps keep moisture in and weeds out. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Just add the compost on top of the frozen ground and it will break down when the ground defrosts. By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy. The best way to protect your potted hydrangeas from the winter frost is to bring them indoors before autumn ends. Winter care can be as simple as doing nothing – if minimum temperatures in your garden do not threaten your hydrangeas and if a late frost doesn't occur after the stems have emerged from dormancy. Sylvia gardens in Ontario, Canada. Most insulating materials will pack down somewhat during the winter and expose the branch tips, so the material must either be replaced or secured in place. Bring ends of fence together, and overlap so as to partially compress the leaves, and secure. 3' tall and 2-3' wide. Even though the plants are dormant, they still need some hydration at their roots. Good luck with the hydrangea winter care! I stuff the snow cone with dry clippings from my boxwood hedge.". She was feeling very creative, and after winterizing her hydrangeas, she proceeded to wrap them like giant presents. What a great idea! Branches and buds can dry out because of poor weather, the poor weather ensures that the roots no longer supply moisture. Heavy snow cover can protect the buds of bigleaf Hydrangeas, but this is obviously hard to predict. You can leave pots, flower boxes and other plant containers outdoors over the winter, but they’re often in poor condition come spring. Sink the pot in the ground, if it is an all weather non-decorative container, to protect the roots from the cold. Source: Toño, archivo.infojardin.com In colder regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the flowering season is either over for the season or coming to an end. The information on this page is for H. macrophylla, which is the typical blue and pink mophead or lacecap hydrangea. But it is such a wonderfully creative and unusual idea, that I wanted to share it with the visitors to this site. Protecting the hydrangea during winter is not always necessary. In-ground Hydrangeas – Winter Protection. Another gardener recommended keeping extra bags of leaves in an area where they will not freeze. Read the easy steps listed below and learn about how you can prepare your hydrangea for winter. How do you protect hydrangeas in winter? During the winter the hydrangea is a little bit more sensitive than during the warmer months. This will give the plants extra moisture during the colder months. Place a 4-inch layer of straw mulch on the ground around the base of the hydrangea in fall before the ground has begun to freeze. Avoid walking on grass in winter, particularly when frost or snow blankets the lawn. If the temperature falls into the single digits for only a few hours at a time, the hydrangea should not be harmed. and may need some protection, particularly if you like to push zonal gardening limits. Be careful not to break the tips off any of the branches as this is where the flower buds have already formed. Plan to winterize your buried container plant just as you would any similar plant growing in the ground. Admittedly, large pots are difficult to handle, but hydrangeas will NOT do well in smaller pots. Necessities: Wood; Bubble wrap or non-woven cloth; Mulch; Chicken wire; Do you live in an area where a lot of snow is falling in winter? I was going to wrap them in burlap this year for winter protection but was not sure when to do this. You don’t even have to fill them with leaves, the burlap itself will protect the stems from some of the dry cold winter wind which is what is really tough on plants. Weird winters with little snowfall and drastic temperature swings are detrimental to plants. Here are a few ways to overwinter your plants. The first step in proper winter care is to cut back any old wood down to the base. These can put an end to hydrangea buds and eliminate subsequent blooms. Putting your hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) The frame can't rest on the branches, because if the snow gets too heavy, the trunk could snap! Even though I lose some buds, I still get plenty for the next summer. This can be sturdy stakes surrounded by chicken wire, burlap, or other material that allows air to circulate (Plastic is not recommended although some find it useful). AN UNUSUAL WAY TO PROTECT HYDRANGEAS - FLATTEN THEM ! I use bricks to hold down the cardboard, then I put leaves over it all, and then white insulating cloth, and finally more brick to hold it all down. 8. In view of that, one thing to consider is an A-frame to shunt off the snow. When it is uncovered, the hydrangea will already have started to leaf out. The snow cone is a purchased Styrofoam cone. If you do step on it, you’ll notice that your footprints linger, as frozen grass blades break underfoot. However, most of the showy hydrangeas are foreigners in the US. NOTE: As with several techniques on this site, we can neither recommend the following technique nor take credit for it. Fill the enclosure with dead leaves or pine needles to provide insulation. Otherwise, the open wounds of the cutting can freeze and this could damage your beautiful hydrangea. It still allows the snow to build up at the base of the plant which can be a … Wrapping Hydrangeas can also sometimes be effective. I have two hydrangeas that are approx. Place 4' high fencing, lined on the inside with plastic sheeting, around the plant, leaving 1 foot of space all around. Scatter your mulch materials to cover the ground around the base of your plants. You do not want to inadvertently damage or snap off these buds. One gardener suggests that oak leaves are particularly effective insulation since they do not pack down like other material. If you have any tips or tricks to share with us, we would love to hear from you. Paniculata and smooth hydrangeas do not need protection in the United States and most of Canada. (One reader suggested enclosing the entire cage, at this point, with insulation cloth.) That is no problem! However, it can happen with tub plants, that the soil will completely freeze. Basically, Maria describes how she flattens her whole hydrangea plant beneath sheets of cardboard and bricks. I tie them together with rope and then put the snow cone over. Then you should build a strong frame around your hydrangea. Hope to see you again at Goodgardn! If you live in an area that gets freezing winter temperatures – as we do here in northern Utah – apply a 12-inch layer of mulch to insulate your hydrangea shrubs. When the leaves start to appear on the stems in the spring, remove the cover, and keep a lookout for any stem dieback. If you live in a very cold area, you might try growing hydrangeas in large pots and putting them in a cellar or garage that freezes only lightly. The sketch to the right (a copy of which you will undoubtedly want to order for your art collection) shows a dormant hydrangea surrounded by a wire cage. This will ensure that your plants have enough nutrients during spring. The chicken wire is used to build a cage with the frame. Maria writes: "I live In Ottawa, Ontario Canada, and have been a very crazy hydrangea fan. Mulching maintains soil temperature throughout winter, protecting the roots of the hydrangea. Before you start protecting your hydrangea for winter, you will have to cut the hydrangea back. Sometimes, because potted hydrangeas may be too large to easily move, you have to keep them outside during winter. I wish she'd sent a picture! The frame filled with mulch will protect your hydrangea throughout the winter weather. Even if the winter you live through is more rain than snow or completely without snow, the chipping will provide needed protections from rodents and bunnies that will be foraging for food during the winter months. If you follow these steps, the hydrangea will have even more beautiful blooms. 5. Protect your container specimen through the winter with protective cover, like leaves, straw, and needles. Before you start hacking back your shrub you first need to identify which type of hydrangea you have in your garden. In another e-mail, Maria assured me that the hydrangeas pop back up in the spring and look like normal hydrangea shrubs. Hydrangeas!, hydrangea enthusiast Judith King recommends several strategies for protecting hydrangeas from winter damage. Probably the best way to protect them would be to dig them up (if they're planted in the ground), put them in containers and over-winter them inside. Protect your in-ground hydrangea in winter by making a frame around the plant by using stakes. 4. Mulching is essential for the winter months and its benefits go beyond general protection. I was told by an old German lady that owns one of the nurseries here to cover hydrangeas this way, and it does work. He states that the reasons for using Styrofoam over the cage is "the Styrofoam will protect the plant from severe freezing, as well as preventing snow from melting and saturating the leaves which would then freeze, encapsulating the hydrangea buds. The layer should be about 2-3 centimeters thick. This hydrangea has been growing in Sylvia's garden for 5 years. The easiest method involves circling the plant with four or five wooden stakes and wrapping it with chicken wire. Wrap chicken wire around the stakes to form a cage. After cutting back the hydrangea, you will have to protect it. Here are a few ways to overwinter your plants. You will find out in this article and more! The following is a description of Bob's procedure: 1. If the mulch is right up against the stems, it encourages dampness, which can lead to root rot. This is a highly unconventional way to protect hydrangeas sent to me from a Canadian visitor to this site (Maria). While the hydrangea is small it will be easy to protect, but as it grows larger, the task will become much more difficult and may, in time, grow too tedious to continue. Snow cover not only provides insulation, but also a water source. Straw works well for this. Love your site, Maria". Protecting the hydrangea during winter helps to ensure the plant is able to bloom each year. This may also involve spreading leaves, straw, or compost over the spot where you've buried the pot. During late fall you should water the hydrangeas more often than normal. Water your newly planted hydrangea as needed until frost. Almost all hydrangeas should be pruned in late winter or early spring, with the exception being the climbing hydrangea which is pruned after flowering in summer. These all-important bloom buds on branch ends should be protected with a layer of leaves or other material before covering. Fill this space with leaves (being careful not to knock off any buds). How to Make Sure Your Living Room Floor Matches Your Indoor Plants? Do you live in an area where a lot of snow is falling in winter? Find a middle of the shrub, gently push down each side of the plant (groups of branches) towards the ground, cover each with cardboard. But if you just planted the hydrangea, you will have to protect it to get through the first winter! How to Protect Hydrangeas After Blooming Season. Pull outer stems vertical (up) and tie them together. Fill the cage with pine needles and/or leaves to fully insulate your plant. You want to make sure to remove all of the mulch before the new growth begins. But there are still few things to do in… These can then be used to refresh the leaf insulation as it settles over the winter. Below is a picture of the "snowcone" that protects Sylvia's 'Lemon Wave' hydrangea (makes me what to add eyes and a carrot nose!). 4. Walking on frozen ground may also lead to compaction of the soil, increasing drainage problems and potentially encouraging the onset of fungal diseases. Overwintering these types of hydrangeas indoors is difficult and usually not successful. This would probably kill them." If you are planning to grow a perennial in a pot, zone up to ensure success! 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