The Q&A Archives: hydrangea

Question: Last fall I planted several hydrangea(i.e. annabelle, pg, niko oak leaf). I covered them with straw after the first freeze, although we had a very mild winter(never below zero). Now(late March), my daffodils and scilla are in bloom, but I don't seeany signs of life with the hydrangeas, just brown wood. Should I be alarmed or do they start to sprout later in the year? What care should I give them now and this summer? What winter protection is best in Zone 5.

Answer: Don't be discouraged. Your hydrangeas should be fine. They are later to get started than the scilla and daffodils. It you want to check them for signs of life on the 'Peegee' hydrangea, look at the buds. If they are swollen and green inside, then your hydrangeas are on their way. If you find the buds dried up and brown, then you should be concerned. I'd them scratch the surface of the main trunk to see if it's green. That's a sign the plants has life. Some hydrangeas such as the Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' die back to the ground in your area, so look for new shoots coming out of the ground around the base of the plant. In any case, don't give up on them yet.

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