The Q&A Archives: Planting New Hydrangea Outside In Oct-nov, Is It Too Late?

Question: I purchased a Hydrangea which is very small and it is now Nov and per the directions on the plant it said to take off dead blooms and then plant outside. Is it too late to plant outside? Could and should I keep it indoors this winter and plant in the spring? I fear it won't make the winter.

Answer: In my experience it is difficult to keep hardy plants alive and healthy in containers in the house over the winter, and generally speaking, container grown shrubs can be planted at any time the ground isn't too frozen to dig. Prepare the soil carefully, plant, water it well, and then mulch with several inches of natural mulch such as shredded bark. Do not be surprised if the plant dies back to the ground this winter; with luck it will regrow from the roots next summer. Be sure to keep it well watered while it becomes established next summer.

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