Winterizing Pink Elf Miniature French Hydrangea - Knowledgebase Question

Oak Lawn, IL
Question by ROBLOUFER
May 30, 2001
We planted several of your Pink Elf Miniature French Hydrangeas this year. While we know winter is a few months away, we have to start planning for it now. Would you please provide guidance on exactly what we should do to prepare these plants for winter? They are so beautiful and we would hate to see them damaged by the typical Chicago winter. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.


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Answer from NGA
May 30, 2001

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Those hydrangeas sure went to a good home! The real prep for winter begins the first summer. Make sure the shrubs get enough water this summer, but take care not to overwater. Mulch your newly planted shrub with 2 inches of shredded bark to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. Keep the mulch 1 to 2 inches away from the
trunk. Continue to water as needed until the ground freezes. Cover your shrubs with wooden teepees to protect them from wind and from crushing snow load. Also make sure they aren't exposed to runoff from salted sidewalks or driveways, or use kitty litter instead of sodium-based deicing products.

Also, if your French hydrangeas blossom this year, when the blooms fade, cut stems that flowered back to next laterals (set of stems).

Enjoy!

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