Oh No! Hydrangeas in Garage Sprouting!

ejr2005(Eastern MA)February 19, 2012

I brought some of my baby hydrangeas into the unheated garage in the fall. It included two small Masjas and some fall cuttings of a local lacecap and mophead (don't know what kind). I didn't bring them in until late December because it was so warm. I've watered them twice since they were brought in. The other day when I went to water them, I noticed that the Masjas both had sprouts growing out of the soil (one has two 6" stalks and the other has about 7 1" or 2" ones ) and the lacecap cuttings had buds opening up.

It's been warm all winter and though the garage is unheated it's somewhat warmer than the outside. It almost never goes below freezing. It's also pretty dark.

It's February in Massachusetts! I wasn't going to bring the plants out til maybe May. I guess I should keep them inside until after the spring freezes, but now I have visions of giant white hydrangeas taking over the garage! The sprouts are actually light green - not sure how they're producing chlorophyll in the mostly dark.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

You are not the only one having that problem. I noticed today that some of my hydrangeas are trying to leaf out too (not on all the stems but still...)...

I can see cold temps arriving and killing the new growth; it has happened before. Luckily it does not kill the plant.

The same problem sometimes occurs when winter protecting shrubs outside. The new growth comes out of hibernation looking light green or even white. Lord, oh Lord.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 7:48PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

I don't see a problem. Just don't put them outside til the danger of hard frost has passed... Feel free to throw in some fertilizer in April and July and if you intend to sink them in the ground I would try April or September. This winter has made many things act goofy. For example my butterfly bushes still have healthy leaves on them which should give additional growth a BIG head start. Also you may notice that people's daffodils sprouted about 3 weeks ago and some people's daylilies didn't die back completely. Heck my snapdragons have made it so far and I think that dusty millers are the newest evergreen in the northeast!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 8:41PM
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I was walking yesterday and also saw dusty millers pretty much alive. Unbelievable...
I do not see a problem with sprouts. You can nip them at the top and give them some source of light, otherwise they will be very leggy. Pale green will turn darker green pretty fast after you provide some better light.
I usually overwinter my miniature roses in garage and they grow these long pale stems in winter, but after I put them outside they behave normally. I would stay away from fertilizer for now though while they are still in garage. It will not make them greener, they need light for that.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I'm in the Philadelphia area, and just noticed my hydrangea starting to leaf out today. Daffodils have been starting to sprout for a couple of weeks. I even have a couple of "annuals" in my porch pots that never died. I'm very afraid of a late frost; last year, we had some snow and a freeze in early April, and the hydrangea's old wood died. My poor baby only had interior flowers, very few on the outside! I don't want that to happen again.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:50PM
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Here in North Alabama we lost our hydrangea buds last year due to hard freezes and since our weather is usually good I don't cover. With that said I didn't cover this year either. I have about 20 and all of my mop heads have buds starting to open. If the weather holds this should be a great year for flowers.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:30PM
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ejr2005(Eastern MA)

Thanks all. I've been taking them outside for a few hours a day when I can. Don't want to leave them in too much sun or wind for long so I don't put them out when I'm not around. They seem okay so far - greening up a bit. We should be getting some pretty cold weather this week so I'll keep bringing them inside.

It's going to be a long April bringing them in and out, and I'll be away for part of it so I guess they'll just have to stay in the garage. I will be putting them in the ground eventually - I was thinking mid-May. Springwood Gardens - I know you said April but I'm worried about that because they're so young.

How do you find out when the danger of hard frost has passed?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:05PM
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