How To Properly Cover A Hydrangea For The Winter? Photo

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How To Properly Cover A Hydrangea For The Winter? Photo
How To Properly Cover A Hydrangea For The Winter? Photo

It is no coincidence that hydrangeas are called shrubs irreplaceable for landscape design. Modern and romantic, with dense and large inflorescences, they are a true decoration of shaded places and are virtually unrivaled. But no matter how beautiful hydrangeas are, growing them is not so easy. Achieve a colorful bloom of hydrangeas is possible only with careful care. Due to insufficient frost resistance, they need shelter for the winter, which cannot be called simple. However, the sight of the gorgeous hydrangea bloom caps is well worth the effort.

Autumn preparation of hydrangeas for shelter for the winter
Autumn preparation of hydrangeas for shelter for the winter


  • Preparing hydrangeas for wintering
  • The need of hydrangeas for shelter
  • Features of the shelter for hydrangeas
  • Rules for unwrapping hydrangeas

Preparing hydrangeas for wintering

Hydrangeas begin to prepare for winter in September. True, they do not need complicated care or special events at all, and such preparation will not take much effort. You just need to remember to stop some procedures in time and carry out others:

  1. Hydrangeas are pruned only in early spring, but this does not mean that plants do not need attention on the eve of the coldest season. It is better to sanitize the hydrangea - remove dry or damaged shoots by treating the sections with garden varnish or a special protective compound.
  2. All dry leaves are collected under the bushes, immediately destroying them. For large-leaved hydrangea, in early September, it is necessary to remove all the leaves from the lower half of the bush. Thus, lignification of shoots is stimulated and their frost resistance increases. Before the frost comes, all the leaves on the hydrangeas are removed, leaving only the apical ones to protect the flower buds.
  3. Pruning inflorescences before winter is not an easy question. Dry hydrangea caps adorn the garden, look great under the snow and are surprisingly touching even when dry. Therefore, if you have no other reason to cut it and if the hydrangeas are not completely covered for the winter (that is, they do not belong to the large-leaved and Sargent variety, bushes over 2 years old), then do not remove the inflorescences before winter, but leave them to decorate the winter garden. In large-leaved hydrangea, all inflorescences are removed before the onset of frost.
  4. From the middle of summer, only phosphate-potassium dressings are carried out for hydrangeas.
  5. From mid-September, watering is stopped for all hydrangeas; water-charging watering is not carried out for these shrubs before wintering. If possible, they create protection for large-leaved hydrangeas from excessive moisture by installing a frame with a film over the bushes, which will prevent water from falling under the bushes during rains.

The need of hydrangeas for shelter

Of the types of hydrangeas that are suitable for growing in the middle lane, only two plants need shelter - large-leaved Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, or garden hydrangea) and Sargenta Hydrangea (Hydrangea sargentiana). But in fact, some protection is needed for winter and hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens).

The winter hardiness of hydrangeas changes with age. Whatever species are discussed, in the first two years after planting, the bushes need to be additionally protected for the winter. More mature bushes, with the exception of the two above-mentioned species, do not even need hilling and winter well.

Covering hydrangea with a cover
Covering hydrangea with a cover

Features of the shelter for hydrangeas

Unlike other garden shrubs with beautiful flowering that need protection for the winter, hydrangeas are not afraid of damping. These are heat-loving plants, in the shelter of which almost any materials can be used, even those that do not promote respiration and increase humidity. So, hydrangeas hibernate even under a layer of foliage, which gets wet under polyethylene. And such non-capriciousness greatly simplifies the process of shelter.

In hydrangeas, first of all, flower buds need to be protected (for example, for large-leaved hydrangea, the main task is to preserve the tops of the shoots). This task is performed only by bending the branches to the ground. But you do not need to be afraid: hydrangeas, despite their massiveness, are quite flexible and they tolerate such an inclination very well.

Finding the right timing for sheltering hydrangeas is easy. It is best not to wait until frost and shelter during October, immediately after the first night frost or on the eve of the beginning of stable drops in temperature below 0. Hydrangeas, unlike many other shrubs, can be covered not in stages, but at one time, but holes for ventilation still need to be left until severe frost. It is better to ventilate hydrangeas during winter thaws.

Shelter of young hydrangeas

Hydrangeas planted this year for the winter need to be protected, and if possible, the plants should be covered in the first two years. True, we are not talking about complex methods of shelter: young hydrangeas are content with the most modest measures to compensate for temperature drops and the possible absence of snow.

To prepare the plant for winter in the first years of growing, it is enough:

  1. Spud the base of the bushes with dry soil.
  2. Mulch the trunk circle with a thick layer of dry leaves.
Hydrangea in front of shelter for the winter
Hydrangea in front of shelter for the winter
Hydrangea covered with sacking for the winter
Hydrangea covered with sacking for the winter

Shelter hydrangea tree

This type of hydrangea perfectly recovers after freezing, grows quickly enough. But it blooms better with a preventive shelter. Hilling is the first and obligatory stage. Large bushes of plants do not bend, but are tied to a reliable peg, warming around with spruce branches.

Shelter of Sargent's hydrangea

For this type of hydrangea, you will need almost the same shelter as for young bushes. But unlike ordinary hydrangeas, Sargent must wrap the crown.

To prepare the plant for winter, you must:

  1. Mulch the soil in the trunk circle with dry foliage.
  2. Spud the base of the bush with dry soil.
  3. Place a cardboard box over the bush or wrap the crown with paper, non-woven materials.

Shelter for large-leaved hydrangea

This is the most difficult type of hydrangea to prepare for winter, which must be protected not only from winter weather surprises, but also from spring frosts, sharp temperature fluctuations with the arrival of heat. The shelter of this hydrangea requires not only the timely start of preparation, but also the obligatory tying of the shoots.

To protect large-leaved hydrangea for the winter, you must:

  1. After removing the inflorescences and leaves, collect the shoots of the shrub into a bunch and gently bend to the ground. Usually they are placed on boards or boards to avoid contact with the soil. The branches are fixed with twine or in any other convenient way.
  2. The bush, laid on the ground, is completely covered with dry leaves, sawdust, earth. You can first lay a wooden shield on the hydrangea or stretch a layer of nonwovens, and only then fill it up. This will create several layers of shelter with air spaces and protect the plant from any unpleasant surprises in unstable weather. And the bush will not "directly" come into contact with the insulation, the hydrangea will not get wet, will not get dirty, and the risk of spreading diseases and pests will decrease.
  3. From above, the hydrangeas are covered with plastic wrap, securely fixing it around the edges. Ventilation holes are left in the shelter, which are closed only in severe frosts.
  4. In snowless winters, spruce branches or branches are laid on the film, if there is snow, it is additionally poured.

There are other cover strategies for this type of hydrangea:

  1. Shelter with roofing material. After binding, the plant is not bent down, but a roofing material is wrapped around it, creating a kind of cylinder around the crown. The roofing material is pulled loosely, do not squeeze the bush, leaving about 10 cm from the bush to the walls and measuring so that the roofing material rises half a meter above the hydrangea. There is no need to create multiple layers: just wrap the edges and secure with twine in several places. Dry leaves are poured into the cylinder, and with the arrival of severe frosts, the top is tightened with a film or non-woven material.
  2. Installation around a frame made of strong posts with several layers of nonwovens stretched and similarly covered with dry leaves. For low bushes, you can "dress" on top of a box or basket.
  3. Shelter with spruce branches: the bushes are spud, spruce branches are laid under them, and hydrangea branches are already bent down on it. Spruce branches are again laid on the shrub, and the final layer is made of film or non-woven material, securely fixing.
Shelter hydrangea for the winter
Shelter hydrangea for the winter
Shelter hydrangea for the winter
Shelter hydrangea for the winter
Shelter hydrangea for the winter
Shelter hydrangea for the winter

Rules for unwrapping hydrangeas

Like other shrubs that need more serious shelter for the winter, hydrangeas need to be opened gradually, layer by layer. The process of slowly removing protection for large-flowered hydrangea is especially important. They begin to remove the shelter with the arrival of the first heat, removing the film or non-woven material for a day and returning it back in case of recurrent frost. The leaves with which the plants were covered must be dried already in the middle of spring. The leaves themselves are removed from the bushes only when the buds begin to grow on the hydrangea. The housed land is removed last. After removing the earth, the shrub is untied immediately, but left for several days before inspection and pruning.

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