How to Care for Hydrangeas Outdoors in Winter

The Hydrangeas are the plant that can survive through winter and they are not sensitive to low temperatures or even a freeze. But, it can happen with tub plants, the soil will be able to freeze completely. Also, the branches and buds are able to dry out because of poor weather. The poor weather makes sure that the roots no longer supply moisture. You are able to prevent this by protecting the Hydrangea. So, how do you protect Hydrangeas outdoors in winter? You are able to find out that information from this article.

Hydrangeas winter care

Proper Hydrangea outdoor winter care can certainly determine the success and quantity of next summer’s blooms. The important thing for Hydrangea winter protection is to protect them, whether in a pot or in the ground, before the first frost of winter through the last frost the following spring. If you care for the Hydrangeas during winter properly, the Hydrangeas will have more and prettier blooms. During the winter, the hydrangeas are a little bit more sensitive than during the warmer months. Cutting back the Hydrangeas in winter is the best thing to do. This way, the Hydrangeas do not give unnecessary energy to the dead branches. After cutting back the hydrangeas, you have to protect it.

Hydrangeas outdoors

Cutting back Hydrangeas in winter

Before you start protecting your Hydrangeas for winter, you have to cut the hydrangeas back. The first thing that you have to do for Hydrangea winter care is to cut away dead wood the plant has produced. Aside from that, weak or dead branches should be cut away. You have to do this before it starts to freeze. Otherwise, the open wounds of the cutting will freeze and this can destroy your beautiful Hydrangea.

So, the first step in Hydrangea winter care is to cut away the old wood at the base of the plant. Then, remove any dead or weak branches by cutting them off at their base. Please be careful not to cut off healthy wood, because this wood can be where your Hydrangea will bloom from next year.

Protect Hydrangeas in winter – step-by-step

To prevent the roots from no longer supplying moisture, you have to wrap your hydrangea in winter. To make it easier for you, we are going to inform you a step-by-step plan on how to protect your hydrangea in winter. If you just planted the Hydrangea, you have to protect it to get through the first winter. If you follow these steps below, then the hydrangea will have more beautiful blooms.


  • Wood
  • Bubble wrap or non-woven cloth
  • Mulch
  • Chicken wire

For those who live in an area where a lot of snow is falling in winter, you should build a strong frame around your hydrangea. The frame cannot rest on the branches, because if the snow gets too heavy, the trunk can snap. For those experiencing winters where there isn’t much snow falling, it doesn’t matter if the frame rests on the branches.  Usually the wire is used to build a cage with the frame. This cage will be filled with mulch to keep the hydrangea warm. It is best to protect the Hydrangea around November, however it depends on where you live.

Preparing Hydrangeas for winter: Starting in fall

To ensure your Hydrangeas get an energy boost out of winter, you have to start preparing in fall. In fall you have to add some compost to the soil. This will make sure that your Hydrangeas have enough nutrients during spring. The layer must be about 2-3 centimeters thick. You are able to try using a rake to spread the compost. Is it already freezing during fall? It is no issue. You only need to add the compost on top of the frozen ground. It will break down when the ground defrosts. During late fall you have to water the hydrangeas more frequently than usual. Around three times a week will be enough for the hydrangea to survive through the winter. This can give your Hydrangeas extra moisture during the colder months.

In-ground Hydrangeas – Winter Protection

in-ground hydrangeas

You have to protect your in-ground Hydrangeas in winter by making a frame around the plant by using stakes. Please wrap chicken wire around the stakes to form a cage. Then, you are able to fill the cage with pine needles or leaves to fully insulate your plant. Oak leaves will work well as they do not settle as easily as other materials. You need to keep a bag of leaves from your fall leaf raking pile so that you are able to fill the cage throughout the winter as the insulation settles. Please be careful not to snap off the ends of the branches as you fill the cage or all will be for naught, and you will not have those gorgeous blooms next summer.

Potted Hydrangeas – Winter Protection

Potted hydrangeas picture

The best hydrangeas winter protection for potted plants is to bring them inside prior to the first frost. If they are too cumbersome to move, they are able to remain outside and be protected by covering the entire pot and plant. One of the methods is by using foam insulation to protect your potted plants.

How often should Hydrangeas be watered over winter?

If you are in an area that gets snow, you should not have to water all winter long. If you are in a warmer client with no snow and you have little winter rain, you may have to apply once a month or so. Since the Hydrangeas have no leaves and are not growing, their water needs are minimal, so unless it’s bone dry you are able to leave it. Also, the same goes for Hydrangeas in containers.

Well, the text above is an explanation about how to care for Hydrangeas in Winter. If you have any tips to share with us, we will love to hear that.


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