How To Over Winter Potted Hydrangea

I grew two potted blue hydrangeas. They are flourishing and pretty big. How can I ensure their survival during our bitterly cold winter?

Watering should continue until the ground freezes. Verify if your container can resist the harsh winter conditions. If not, you might choose to transfer the plants to a nursery pot so they can spend the growing season within the decorative pot. These hydrangeas are tough to overwinter inside and typically don’t succeed. Here are some strategies for winterizing your plants. If the pot is an all-weather, non-decorative container, bury it in the ground to protect the roots from the cold. Or, after the plants have gone dormant, transfer them into an unused garage. The pot should be placed on a board, and additional insulation should be placed around it. Alternately, relocate the pots to a protected area and cover them with mulch, bales of hay, or other insulating materials. whenever the earth is dry and thawed.

Can hydrangeas be kept in pots during the winter?

Bring potted plants indoors before the first frost for the greatest hydrangea winter protection. They can stay outside and be protected by covering the entire pot and plant if they are too heavy to transport. Foam insulation is one way to safeguard your potted plants.

How are hydrangeas wintered?

One of the most adored Southern belles in the garden is the hydrangea. There are many reasons to enjoy shrubs; they tolerate shade, come in a range of colors, and can add interest all year long. In addition, hydrangeas typically require little maintenance and thrive in challenging growth environments.

Hydrangeas in Winter

Mulch over the hydrangeas in the winter to protect them. Leave faded blossoms alone to add interest in winter.

You may be wondering how to ensure that your shrubs remain secure over the winter due to the unpredictable nature of the weather. I am aware that I am in Georgia. So I asked Ryan McEnaney of Bailey Nurseries the most important winter care issues for hydrangeas, and fortunately, the answers are straightforward:

Is there a time or temperature when it’s “too late” to winterize hydrangeas?

Any form of protection is beneficial. Winter months bring a wide range of temperatures, so if you’ve already experienced any really chilly spells, some harm may have already been done. Despite this, continue to preserve it to ward off any potential threats in the months to come.

Will mulch prevent plants from heaving? Is there a type of mulch that is better for winterizing plants? When spring returns, do I need to remove the mulch?

Plants in the ground and in containers benefit greatly from mulch during the winter. Beyond providing general security, the mulch’s role is to establish an environment that is more consistent with what is going on outside. Temperatures can change from -10 to 30 degrees in some areas of the nation within a week or two. As a result, the root system is disrupted as water molecules in the ground freeze (contract) and then defrost (expand) (heaving). Mulch aids in minimizing those abrupt alterations to safeguard the plants. We advise using wood mulch, oak leaves, or pine straw.

To prevent damage from late spring, wait until after your last frost date to [remove to the mulch]. However, don’t wait too long as heat can develop moisture, which can cause the stems to rot in the absence of air flow.

How much cold can hydrangeas in pots stand?

One of the simplest shrubs to grow is the hydrangea. Hydrangeas are easy maintenance plants that provide your garden with months of huge, bright flower decoration. However, it’s crucial to understand how to protect hydrangeas from cold as summer ends and winter sneaks up on us. This entails hydrangea cold tolerance. Some types, such as the panicle or PG hydrangea and the smooth hydrangea (“Annabelle”), are extremely cold-hardy and bloom on new wood.

You don’t need to be concerned about hydrangea winter kill if these species are present in your yard. They don’t need to be protected unless it is below minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 C.). In most cases, protecting these plants also involves leaving the old growth during the winter, which can contribute to the winter’s visual appeal.

The preceding growth season is when all of the other hydrangea kinds, including the well-liked big leaf, produce their flowers. For you to see blooming the following summer, these tender buds must endure the winter. You should find out how to avoid winter kill on hydrangeas if you plan to plant big leaf or another variety that blooms on old wood.

Should I trim my hydrangea to prepare for winter?

If and when you prune is the key to happy, healthy hydrangea flowers. Of course, fertilizing and offering the ideal environment have a lot to recommend them. However, if you don’t prune properly, your efforts will be in vain. Deadheading is not the same as trimming. Pruning refers to more drastic cutting to preserve shape or remove dead growth. However, feel free to discard spent blossoms or cut fresh ones to use in arrangements.

Hydrangeas can bloom on either fresh wood or old wood, depending on the species. The wood from which they blossom determines whether and when to prune.

Old wood-blooming hydrangeas do not require pruning and benefit from it. They’ll blossom more abundantly the next season if you leave them alone. But feel free to deadhead or gently thin. Just keep in mind that while new growth may appear, it won’t bloom until the following season. In our region, four different species blossom on aged wood. Additionally, they are not limited to the hues displayed here.

Climb using suckers. On your wall or trellis, resist the desire to remove the dormant growth.

The flower heads are more conical in appearance, and the leaves are large and resemble oak leaves. It’s a pleasant surprise for a hydrangea when its leaves turn reddish-orange in the fall.

They are very comparable to lacecap types, but smaller and with more compact leaves.

Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring on hydrangeas that bloom on new wood. Trim back to two feet to prune to shape. The next season’s blossoms are produced by strong, fresh growth that is encouraged by trimming. In our region, there are two types that bloom on fresh wood. They are also not restricted to the colors displayed.

Oakleaf variants are not included in cone-shaped blooms. Keep the blooms on throughout the winter to provide interest; even dried out, they are quite lovely.

regarded as a wild kind. They often have smaller blooms and leaves than Bigleaf variants and are completely white. They enjoy full sun and can grow very tall.

Knowing whether or when to prune now will help you avoid the disappointment of a hydrangea that doesn’t blossom. Don’t forget that a robust shrub will produce more gorgeous blossoms if it has well-draining soil and good organic fertilizer. Come on in, and we’ll show you where to go to develop your green thumb.

How can a potted hydrangea be kept healthy?

Remove any foil wrapping from the hydrangea if it was a gift. Remember that hydrangeas offered for sale around the holidays might not be hardy enough to endure indoors. If you’re serious about growing hydrangeas indoors, your chances of success may be higher if you buy them from a nursery or greenhouse.

Place the hydrangea in a sizable pot filled with superior potting soil. Put the plant in an area with lots of light. Hydrangeas planted outside can take some mild shadow, but interior plants require lots of light (but not intense, direct sunlight).

When the plant is blooming, give your potted hydrangea indoor plant periodic waterings, being cautious not to overwater. After blooming, reduce watering but never let the potting soil go completely dry. If at all feasible, use distilled water or rainwater to hydrate potted hydrangea houseplants because tap water frequently contains chlorine and other pollutants.

If the air inside is dry, use a humidifier or put the plant on a humidity tray. Particularly when flowering, hydrangea thrive in a cool environment with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F (10 and 16 degrees C). The environment is probably too warm if the leaves start to get brown and crunchy around the edges.

Keep heat sources and drafts away from the plant. While the plant is blooming, feed it once a week with a water-soluble fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength. After that, limit feedings to to one monthly.

It is advised to give hydrangeas a time of hibernation in the fall and winter when growing them as houseplants. Place the plant in a room that isn’t heated and is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (7 C.). To keep the plant from wilting, the potting mixture should be kept on the dry side but only lightly watered when necessary.

How long do hydrangeas in pots last?

In U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 9, hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) gardens are adorned with enormous, vibrant blooms. These shrubs, which share their frothy blossoms for the most of the summer and may grow between 4 and 12 feet tall with proper care, can live for decades.

Hydrangeas are hardy shrubs that, with proper care, can survive for up to 50 years. They require frequent watering during the growing season and prefer early light but afternoon shade. After the blossoms have faded, prune them in the fall so that they will have sturdy stems for the summer after. The hydrangeas may lose their blooms for a year while the plants heal if they are pruned when they are in bloom.

Common hydrangeas, sometimes known as bigleaf hydrangeas, bloom in a variety of hues, including blue, pink, and purple. These hydrangeas typically start to bloom in May, which is sooner than some other kinds. Usually, the plants keep producing blooms until July. According to the characteristics of the soil, bigleaf hydrangeas are known to shift their bloom colors; a plant that blooms pink one year may bloom blue the following. Aluminum sulfate, which is added to the soil, promotes blue flowers, whereas hydrated lime, which is added to alkaline soils, promotes pink blossoms. Ayesha, Nikko Blue, and Preziosa are cultivars.

Longer blooming than other hydrangeas, the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) frequently displays color from early June through September. The cultivars “Anabelle” in white and “Invincibelle Spirit” in pink are examples. Smooth hydrangeas often bloom on wood from the current year, which means you should severely prune them, in contrast to other hydrangeas that bloom best on ancient wood. Trim them to a height of 6 to 12 inches above ground.

The panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) blooms later in the year because it prefers the heat of summer to the mild weather of spring. Panicle hydrangeas often begin blooming in July and continue through September. Their blossoms are initially white, but as fall approaches, they start to turn rusty pink.

However, if you relocate the plants or transplant one from a pot to the ground, the hydrangeas may not bloom for a year or perhaps two. Hydrangeas can produce big flowers in their first year. This does not imply that their time of flowering is over. Once the roots of the plants have recovered from the shock of transplantation, they should begin to blossom. To this end, keep the plants well-watered and treat them with a balanced fertilizer throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995 from her home outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She began her career in journalism at publications like the Marietta Daily Journal and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She most recently had managerial and communications positions for a number of charity organizations before opening a flower business in 2006. She graduated from Jacksonville State University with a BA in communications.

Cut back these shrubs in late winter before new growth begins

Shrubs that flower on young wood typically start blooming later than old-growth bloomers, beginning in June and continuing until the first frost, because they need to grow and set buds the same year that they bloom. As long as you avoid trimming when the flower buds are opening, these shrubs are understanding if it is not done at a specific period.

1. Trim the flowers all the way back for larger blooms.

These bushes can be completely removed from the ground in late winter or the beginning of spring. If cut severely like this every year, smooth hydrangeas will produce much larger flowers, but many gardeners prefer smaller blooms on stronger stems.

2. Maintain an old growth foundation to lessen flopping

Especially after watering from above or after a heavy storm, the branches of some hydrangeas frequently topple over from the weight of their blooms. Cutting the stems to a height of 18 to 24 inches will help to reduce this flopping by creating a strong framework for fresh growth.

Janet Carson is the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s horticulture specialist.

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Can I put my hydrangea plant in a pot outside?

Mophead hydrangeas can be cultivated outside wherever the wintertime temperature stays above -15oC because they are hardy (5oF). However, as they were grown in greenhouses and given fertilizer to induce early flowering, potted hydrangeas sold as houseplants may require some time to acclimate to life outside before being put out. Place them outside in their pots during the day and bring them inside at night to harden them off for one to two weeks before to planting. Hydrangeas that have been grown for outdoor planting can be planted immediately. Mid- to late April, when the soil has had time to warm up, is the ideal time to plant mophead hydrangeas outdoors.

The optimal conditions for hydrangeas are shade from the sweltering afternoon sun and moist, well-drained soil. They are therefore excellent alternatives for shady gardens, and in mid- and late-summer, their dramatic spherical flowerheads are absolutely gorgeous. Regularly water hydrangeas, especially during dry spells, and in the spring or fall, mulch with compost or other organic material.

Because of the soil’s pH (acidity or alkalinity), pink and blue mophead hydrangea blossoms have the unusual ability to change color. The blossoms will be a deeper shade of blue the more acidic the environment is. Flowers turn a gorgeous pink on alkaline soil. The color of white mophead hydrangeas doesn’t alter.