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How do I prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?

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How do I prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?

Postby CG admin » Oct 07, 2008 1:07 pm

From a reader:
What do I need to do to prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?
Thanks for your help!
Tara
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Re: How do I prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?

Postby B_BQ » Oct 07, 2008 3:23 pm

I personally don't do anything to mine.
I love to leave the spent flowers, as they look spectacular when they've covered in snow.
I do prune my Annabelles quite severely in the spring, as they are rapid growers.
But it really is a matter of personal preference. Some like to clean up the hydrangeas in the Fall and others in the Spring.
~BBQ
Zone 5b
South/Central Ontario

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Re: How do I prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?

Postby Sharon Bryson » Oct 08, 2008 10:09 am

What do I need to do to prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?


Winter prep for Hydrangeas is very dependent upon the type of Hydrangea, and where you garden.
As BBQ said, the tough Annabelle types(H. arborescens) will do OK regardless of what you do to them.
Some of the more tender H. macrophylla types may need winter protection in many zones, and definitely do not want a pruning. They bloom (with any luck!) on the previous years' growth, so a pruning will remove the potential bloom.
Hydrangea serrata is a bit tougher, but usually needs only tidying in the spring.
All the PeeGee types(H. paniculata) can be pruned in the spring.All are very tough, and shouldn't need any special protection.
Cheers
Sharon
Antigonish, NS Zone 5b

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Re: How do I prepare my hydrangeas for the winter?

Postby Jeannie » Oct 08, 2008 9:11 pm

As Sharon says, it depends on the type you have. If the plant blooms on old wood, you should make preparation to protect it against winter. You can do this by erecting a cage of wood around it. Put stakes into the ground so that the tops are near at least the top of the plant. After removing the leaves and any hanging on blooms, wrap the cage with burlap. Tie it closed around the perimeter, leave the roof open. Into the void put something that will not invite moisture.
Bubble wrap is good, oak leaves, willow leaves are also good, they don't absorb moisture as readily as other leaves.....maple especially.
If the plant is small enough, put a bushel basket, a picnic hamper, a garbage can or anything else that comes to mind that will enclose it against winter's ravage.
Tie the roof closed and put mulch or leaves or soil around the base and tie it closed there too. Snow will do the rest.
Most, maybe 75% of the wood should make it through til spring.

If its the type that blooms on new wood, then you can cut it anytime now or in the spring....right to the ground. Annabelle will pop up as big as new with increased volume of bloom.
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