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Q.How To Prepare My Hygendra For Winter

Zone 49107 | Anonymous added on November 23, 2022 | Answered

Should you trim a high gender a plant down for the winter time

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Answered on November 26, 2022

I wish you had elaborated some more as to what type of hydrangea(s) we are talking about, what cultivar, if newly planted and whether it/they is are planted in the ground or in containers. In your zone 5b of Buchanan, Michigan, the hydrangeas that will bloom most reliably are those which bloom on new wood. That means either panicle hydrangeas (like Limelight, etc.) or smooth hydrangeas (like Annabelle and its 'cousins'). Neither really requires preparation for winter as both are typically winter hardy to zone 3. Some things you could do: ensure that they have 3-4" of mulch at all times of the year to protect the shallow roots from hot/cold extremes; maintain watering at spring watering levels until they go dormant and then reduce waterings to once a week or once every two weeks depending on local precipitation; stop waterings completely once the soil freezes or once temperatures are often very close to freezing or less; stop fertilizing about three months prior to your average date of early frosts (your average date is around the 2nd-3rd weeks of October so stop fertilizing around the 2nd-3rd weeks of July. Deadheading and pruning are not necessary but many people do it anyways. Deadheading can be done at any time of the year or never. However, you can deadhead early now in order to prevent stem bending and stem breakage in locations where the plant gets a lot of snow during winter. Similarly, pruning is unnecessary but many people like to do prune about 1/3 off. Only if stems typically do not leaf out in spring would it be worth pruning them in winter once dormant. If you like to regularly prune 1/3 off, I would suggest doing it after the plant has gone fully dormant as pruning can trigger the plant to go into "grow mode" and, at this time, they should be going dormant instead. Anytime that they have gone fully dormant is fine but, many people prefer to do this in late winter or early spring. A newly planted shrub will not need pruning for a few years. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood should only be mulched and watered now as they currently have spring 2023 flower buds inside the ends of the stems. If it is necessary to protect these stems to produce early spring bloomage, consider winter protecting by putting stakes wider and higher than the plant, putting chicken wire around the stakes, densely filling the center with composted hay or mulch and topping with a cardboard and rocks (consider adding more composted hay/mulch if there is settling in mid winter). Luis

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