Buds coming... What to do??

joycekhMarch 16, 2012

Last fall, after covering with lots of mulch, there were stems left sticking out from last year's wood. My hydrangeas have always bloomed on new growth from the bottom. What should I do about about these budding sticks?? If I leave them, and a good frost does not get them, will they bloom, and will the new growth still come up and bloom. It is way to early to be making these decisions..

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Yes, it is way too early. But I know how you feel. The ones up here started leafing out almost 4 weeks ago. If a frost gets them, it may impact the bloomage but will not kill the shrub. It is hard to tell how all this will play out.

When the stems dry out, that triggers new growth from the bottom. But when you have the possibility of little damage to the stems then you could have some growth from the bottom, hardly any or none at all. Hardly any or none at all is what usually happens to me. I am guessing you may have a mix this year and I may have a lot. The old wood will produce bloomage and the new wood may or may not, depending on the variety.

Ironic, it looks like I may be the one with lots of bottom growth and I may be the person pruning some/lots of dead wood this year. Ha!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:15PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

The NOAA just released a 90-day forecast that basically says: "if you're experiencing mild weather, don't worry because it's here to stay". That said, they also said that this summer would be predominantly dry. So although your growth is taking off now, it may stall out later with water deficits. But as for bud-kill, I'd say it's an afterthought at this point. Years like this will yield leaps in shrub growth and numerous/large blooms for many people.

Depending on where you are, you may still get frosts, but for 75%+ of this country I'd say no.

Here is a link that might be useful: CNN Article

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Well it was a nice 60 degrees here for the last week and a 1/2 and this morning it went down to the 30s and its suppose to go down into the 20s tonight :(

I will probably just throw some blankets over them and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:12PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

^^^^ That's exactly why I'm not uncovering yet.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:32PM
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If there is a chance of frost, will laying a piece of burlap over the bush protect it?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:12PM
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