The Q&A Archives: Seven Monrovia Beni Gaku Hydrangeas

Question: They have not shown any growth. The stems bend and when I broke one off its green. They were planted last fall. Is this normal?

Answer: This hydrangea is considered winter hardy to zone 5 and your zip code places you in the warmest part of zone 6, or 6B, so winter hardiness should not be an issue for you. Wind exposure and the fact they were newly planted last year (and planted in the fall rather than spring) may have caused them to suffer some winter damage. But this type of hydrangea can normally leaf out quite late in the spring, so be very patient; they normally look very unpromising until they leaf out. You may find that spring frosts or winter cold damaged some of the buds and may have damaged the stems as well, or you may find that the new growth emerges from all over the plant. Eventually, once you see new growth from either the ground or the stems, you will know if you need to trim anything back. You would trim off dead stems -- they will be dry, brittle and discolored with no green inside. Avoid trimming in spring as much as possible as it will reduce flowering this summer -- this hydrangea blooms on old wood that grew the year before. Good luck with your hydrangeas!

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