Help with winterizing potted hydrangeas in zone 4!

MrsLuckettJuly 29, 2013

I am a first time gardener with almost no yard! so many of my plants are in large pots. I have 3 everblooming hydrangeas in 5 gallon pots right now on my deck. But now, as I think more and more of the upcoming winter, I know I have to bring them inside or do something because the roots could freeze! Do I bring them into my unheated garage or basement? Do I cover them? Do i water them while they're dormant? HELP!

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

MrsLuckett which hydrangeas are they? Depending on how hardy they are will require different over winter protection. Let us know and we can help you through it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:25PM
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They're Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer everblooming.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:52PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Most Endless Summers are hardy to zone 4. So it is easy. Keep them moist in the fall so the root ball can freeze and not lose moisture. When they go dormant (the leaves fall off) you can take them in the garage. You can also leave them outside for winter interest until just before you get a really hard cold frost. Check them once a month or so and make sure they aren't totally dry, frozen is good. When the danger of a heavy frost has past take them out. Thats it!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:21PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

And it might not even be necessary to take them in the garage, IF you get a really good snow cover that lasts all winter. Generally, if a plant is hardy to a certain zone, it's not the freezing temperatures in that zone that can kill the plant. What kills plants is when the soil or medium around the roots freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws, repeatedly. This heaves the roots right out of the soil and can kill the plant.

I live in Zone 5 and keep all kinds of plants in pots year around. I do lose one now and then, but not often. BUT, I live in an area where we generally have a 30-40 inch snow cover at all times. Once it starts snowing in the early winter we just rarely see the ground again until at least April (Lake Superior lake effect snow here). So those potted roots are well insulated by snow and stay frozen until spring.

But, if you leave them out, you do have to be prepared that you might lose one, and nice size hydrangeas are not a small loss.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Long-time lurker, first time poster.

I want to keep my hydrangea in pots outside for the winter but I am concerned the pots will break since they are terra cotta. What kind of container is better for this?


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 4:24PM
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