Endless Summer Hydrangea: Winter

kitkatt7777(8)October 6, 2010

We just planted 6 Endless Summer Hydrangeas this May. Does anyone have any tips on "winterizing" them? Should we cover them? Prune them? We're in the Dallas, Texas area. Any tips would be appreciated!

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If you are in zone 8, there is no need to winterize any type of hydrangea. And with Endless Summer that need is even less -- it is somewhat more cold hardy than most macs (zone 4, at least for roots) plus, it blooms on both old and new growth so any potential winter dieback will not seriously affect flowering.

My recommendation on pruning any type of macrophyllas is simply don't :-) Deadhead or remove dead wood as necessary but site the plants initially keeping in mind ultimate size and allow them sufficient space to get there. If your plant is grossly overgrown, remedial or rejuvenation pruning -- taking a third of the oldest stems back to the ground in each of three years -- will get your shrub back to size with a minimal impact on the flowering.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:41PM
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I live in the mountains and an have up to 8 feet of accumulated snowfall. What advice can you give for protecting my hydrangeas and other plants? Should I prune now or in the spring? One of my Endless Summers' is in a large potted container. Everthing else is in the ground.
When should I fertlize and can I expect great things come spring?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:15PM
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Thank you for the advice. I know these hydrangeas can be a little "needy," and I want to keep them around for years to come! Since I'm such a new gardener, I have lots to learn. Thanks for the tips. :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:42PM
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If you have Endless Summer you don't have to protect but if you do you will have more flower buds come Summer. I winter protected mine and it did not have one stem with out a flower as you can see in this picture:

To Winter Protect them I heavily Mulch the base of the plant with straw or mulch. Then I stake the area around them with 4 ft wood stakes I buy from Lowes making sure to leave some space between the stakes and the leaves. Then I surround the stakes with chicken wire and fill it up with leaves which you can bum off from a neighbor if you don't have any. Make sure that you fill the caged area all the way to the top covering the hydrangea. Also save some leaves as the leaves will settle in during the winter and you will need to refill the cage. You can also cover the cage with burlap but I didn't find that necessary. You can bury your potted one in the ground and give it the same treatment.

The "fun" part comes in Spring when you uncover them and then have to baby them running around with blankets every time there is a frost warning. At first they will look dead but trust me do not prune those branches back until early summer. Mine looked completely dead but thanks to friends on here I didn't prune them back and they bloomed beautifully. I uncovered mine on Mothers day and was told later that I waited a bit long and it caused mine to be a bit yellow and tender to the touch. This year I plan to uncover them the last week of April and see what happens.

I do not prune the Endless Summers as they really don't need it but if you want to I think that early fall would be the time. If you prune them in Spring you will not have any blooms for the rest of the year(if they are mopheads) If you have Annabell or Limelight you can prune those down in the fall or Spring. You can search on here for pruning times and tips.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:17PM
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Thanks melaroma! I will heed your advice! I have up to 8ft of smow here in our mountains, and it is amazing how it flattens the plants. I have always wanted to grow hydrangeas, but until recently, I never had the nerve. I'll start building my cages this weekend! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:43PM
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