I'm starting to have a lot of sympathy for those of you in the colder areas, because this winter left many of my hydrangeas with mostly dead branches. Some have a few stems leafing out, but I don't know if any of the old wood will produce flowers this year.
Since we don't usually get this kind of die-back, I don't know how to handle this. Do I cut them back to the new growth at the base, leave all the stubby branches that have a few small leaves appearing, or ... just remove branches that are obviously completely dead?
How do you handle half-dead hydrangeas? Can I expect ANY flowers on h. macrophylla this summer? Obviously, Endless Summer will be ok, as will h. serrata (like Preziosa), and the others that bloom on new wood. But the City Lights, the Merritt's Supreme ... all the Nikko Blues - are they skipping this season?