Old stems of hydrangea - should I cut them off?
I have a hydrangea that is growing from the bottom. All its old stems look dead, with no shoots at all. In spring these branches did produce many buds, and then they withered down after I gave them a pile of growmore. Someone says these buds died because of the winter damage on the roots. I don't know what the real cause is--too much growmore or winter damage or both?
Now I am wondering whether to leave these stems or cut them off to envigorate the new growth. Will there ever be new buds on the old stems, or are they completely dead? I would really hate to lose these stems, which represent two years of growth. But if they are sitting there doing nothing, I better cut them down.
If I do cut them, how far should I cut them, all the way to the ground or leave some above ground with a hope to see some buds there?
Thank you very much for your answer.