Few flowers are as attractive as the colorful blooms of hydrangeas, which come in a variety of pastels including pinks, purples, and blues. Hydrangeas flourish during warm weather and when the temperatures drop, they require protection. If the temperature drops below 5 or 10 degrees during the winter in your area and remains there for a while, follow the steps below to winterize your hydrangea plants so they will flourish next year.
You will need:
• Garden twine
• Burlap or chicken wire (for cage method)
• Stakes (for cage method)
• Garden clips or plastic or wire ties (for cage method)
• Waterproof tarp
• 1-inch thick foam padding
• Scissors or tin snips
• Mallet or hammer
• Natural insulating material like pine straw or oak leaves
• Insulating cloth (optional)
Step 1: Winterization should take place once hydrangea plants have lost their leaves, causing them to enter a dormant state.
Step 2: Lacecap and mophead hydrangeas bloom on old growths of wood so the buds must be protected from extreme temperatures. Use the garden twine to tie the branches together loosely.
Step 3: To use the cage method of winterization, pound the stakes into the ground around the hydrangea plants. Stretch the burlap or chicken wire around the outside of these stakes, using scissors or tin snips to cut this material to the correct size. Use garden clips or plastic or wire ties to attach the chicken wire to the stakes.
Step 3: Add natural insulating material to the inside of the enclosure, applying it around the base of the plants. Be careful not to damage tips of branches because these are where buds will bloom during spring. Insulating cloth can be added over the insulating material to provide additional protection.
Step 4: If your area experiences heavy snowfall, follow this extra step. Cut a piece of Styrofoam with one-inch thickness to fit the cage diameter. Place the Styrofoam inside the hydrangea cage and press down to compress the natural insulating material gently.
Step 5: Potted hydrangeas can simply be covered with protective material such as Styrofoam cones. Alternatively, lay each pot on its side on top of a waterproof tarp. Fill the area with an insulating material or tape 1-inch thick pieces of foam padding on top of and around the potted plants. Smaller potted hydrangea plants can be brought into a garage or basement during winter.