How to 'cover' hydrangeas for winter?

Tracey3345(Hamptons, NY)November 9, 2010

I have three large "Endless Summer" hydranges in fiberglass pots on my deck. I am planning to cover the pot itself with burlap and plastic, and spread mulch all around the base of the plant (where it begins growing out of the soil). Do I need to cover the branches as well? Can they be covered with the burlap, or will that prevent needed light from getting in? Also, right now there are still old blooms on the plants. Should I prune those or leave them be? Some forums advise cutting the plant down to about 12" tall, while others advise no pruning for winter at all. I also can't seem to find any consensus on whether to cover the branches or leave them exposed. Many thanks for any suggestions!

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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Here's a link that'll probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know about protecting hydrangea's. Also check out too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Protecting hydrangeas

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:36PM
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G'Morning Tracey - Search by typing *Overwintering Hydrangeas* on the top of this page ... scroll down & find * overwintering Hydrangea macrophylla winter protection*. This is a great tutorial thread from 2004 ... helped me when I started in '05.

Lots of posts but worth reading through!!!

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:46AM
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'Endless Summer' is reportedly root hardy to zone 4 - it was bred specifically for colder climates. And, since it is a reblooming form, technically should not require winter protection of the above-ground portions to ensure blooming, like typical macrophyllas require.

IIRC, the Hamptons should be around zone 6/7. If these pots remain in a sheltered location on your deck and the bases are suitably protected (bubble wrap is an excellent insulating wrap), then you do not need to do anything else. If you want to make sure there is no chance of cold damage to any existing buds, you could loosely cover with burlap when the coldest weather is expected but the ES will bloom anyway on growth produced next season.

btw, the other overwintering instructions referred to above ARE excellent and a great resource for those growing more winter sensitive hydrangeas in colder climates.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:35AM
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