Preparing Hydrangeas for Winter

By Renee Gerber , last updated April 19, 2011

Hydrangeas are beautiful bushes that produce lovely blooms in shades of pink, lavendar and even blue, but as the season turns colder, it's essential take the necessary steps to protect and prepare your blooms for winter. If you live in a region that experiences single-digit temperatures for longer than a few hours, this could adversely affect your hydrangeas, even though they are dormant during this time of year. Proper protection will ensure that your plants will thrive during the next growing season.

To start winterizing your hydrangeas, you should prune it. Make sure to cut away all the old, dead and diseased branches you spot, and make your cuts at the base of the bush. Avoid clipping any healthy wood, as this could hinder new, healthy growths that would otherwise appear come the spring. Proper pruning will always ensure that you will indeed get beautiful new flowers during the next blooming season.

Another good way to prepare your hydrangea bushes for winter is to apply stakes around them and wrapping wire through the stakes and over your plants. Make sure to add leaves and other matter to insulate your hydrangeas. This will keep them protected for the coldest months of the year. Be careful when applying the leaves and pine needles, as you don't want to accidentally snap any of the branches.

Potting your hydrangeas is probably the best means by which to protect them during the winter. You can more easily do this if your plants are small. Dig them up from the roots prior to the first frost, and replant them in their own pots. Make sure to cover the entire plant if you are planning on storing it somewhere outside your house, such as in the garage or a garden shed. Otherwise, if you are merely storing them in your house, you won't have to go through quite so much trouble.

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