Do I need to protect my hydrangea from freezing temperatures?

azmountains_gardener(5b/6a, Sunset 2b, AZ)March 16, 2011

We have been experiencing above-normal temperatures here for the past week-and-a-half. One of my hydrangea bushes (Endless Summer) that I planted last year has just begun to bud, and a few of those buds have even opened up and are starting to form leaves (the other Endless Summer hasn't developed any buds yet). The NWS is forecasting a storm to move through here this weekend, and right now they are saying that the low on Monday will be 30F. Will I need to protect the plant, or can the leaves withstand a light freeze?

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Hydrangea729(6A Ohio)

This early in the game: protect, protect, protect. 30 would be a moderate freeze in my book. Many people do not realize that frost forms sometimes as high as 35 degrees because the temperatures they report are for about 6 feet above the ground...where a thermometer would be. Heat rises...so 30 could mean more like 26-29 where your hydrangeas are: on the ground!

In short, I never take the chance.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:13PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Your leaves will recover if the frost kills them. Not so sure about flower buds. But even if you loose the flower buds, ES will rebloom later in Spring and give new blooms, albeit later than usual.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 6:25AM
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melaroma(6)

To protect it simply make sure that it is heavily mulch at the base and throw a blanket on the plant. Make sure that there are no gaps where the cold can get in through. Also use something to hold it down in case of wind. In the morning, after 9 or so, carefully remove the blanket.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 7:50PM
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