Hydrangea – Winter Care

Q: I have a pair of four- year-old common hydrangeas. I need to know how to overwinter them. Do I need to cover them to protect next year’s blooms from frost and hard freeze?

A: It’s generally not necessary in the Atlanta area to do anything special to common hydrangeas in winter. Gene Griffith, co-owner of Wilkerson Mill Gardens (www.hydrangea.com) says they can withstand temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees just fine. However, severe damage can occur if an early warm front in March tricks the flower buds to think it’s spring. Freezing temperatures after the buds swell can result in partial or total flower loss. If this situation is in the offing, cover your hydrangeas with lightweight polypropylene frost cloth, anchored to the ground on all sides with stones or firewood.

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