By Molly Lavins
Proper hydrangea winter care will determine the success and quantity of next summer’s blooms. The key to hydrangea winter protection is to protect your plant, whether in a pot or in the ground, prior to the first frost of winter through the last frost the following spring. Let’s look at what you need to do for your hydrangea in winter.
How to Cut Back Hydrangea Plants for the Winter
The first step in hydrangea winter care is to cut away the old wood at the base of the plant, and remove any dead or weak branches by cutting them off at their base. Be careful not to cut off healthy wood, as this wood will be where your hydrangea will bloom from next year.
In-ground Hydrangeas – Winter Protection
Protect your in-ground hydrangea in winter begin by making a frame around the plant by using stakes. Wrap chicken wire around the stakes to form a cage. Fill the cage with pine needles and/or leaves to fully insulate your plant.
Oak leaves work well because they do not settle as easily as other materials. Keep a bag of leaves from your fall leaf raking pile so that you can fill the cage throughout the winter as the insulation settles.
Be careful not to snap off the ends of the branches as you fill the cage or all will be for naught, and you won’t have those gorgeous blooms next summer.
Potted Hydrangeas – Winter Protection
The best hydrangea winter protection for potted plants is to bring them inside prior to the first frost. If they are too cumbersome to move, they can remain outside and be protected by covering the entire pot and plant. One method is to use foam insulation to protect your potted plants.
Importance of Hydrangea Winter Care
How to protect hydrangeas from winter cold and wind can seem labor intensive. However, once you have your plant’s winter home in place, the remainder of the winter only will require a little housekeeping to maintain successful hydrangea winter protection.
Whether you’re deciding how to cut back hydrangea plants for the winter or how to protect hydrangeas from winter cold and wind, keep in mind that taking a little care of your hydrangea in winter will grace you with lush bushes and beautiful flowers next summer.