The Q&A Archives: Winter care for new hydrangeas

Question: I will be taking care of my neighbors newly planted hydrangeas for the winter. I have two questions, 1st: Since I live in Salem NH, winters can get pretty cold. The type of hydrangea is a macrophlla big leaf pink. I'd like to know if it would be wise to cover them with salt marsh hay?
2nd: I have one concern that one of the plants is too close to the street and will be subject to much sand & salt that is put on the roads in winter. Will salt get into the roots of this plant and kill it? Is there something I can do to prevent this from happening? Thank you

Answer: Diana,

Hydrangea macrophylla varieties are generally are hardy to zone 6 although some are hardy only to zone 7. Either way they would be fine in Atlanta as the zip code there indicates it is in zone 7b. However, New Hampshire is zones 4 or 5 and as such is way too cold for them to stay outdoors. The only option is to keep them inside in a very bright area.

In case I did not understand and the plants will be in the Atlanta, GA area. Then mulching up around the bases well with hay is fine. Road salt can hurt hydranges but your only recourse is to wash the soil out well at the end of winter with a thorough drenching. Just don't keep it soggy wet for a long period of time.

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