Hydrangea Winter Care

Hydrangeas are grown in zones three through seven as perennials. They can be a beautiful, reliable plant that comes back year after year. They can survive very cold temperatures and often require little intervention. 

Protecting Hydrangeas in Winter

Hydrangeas are quite hardy, so little needs to be done to protect them from winter. However, some things can be done to give them a little extra support as they head into those cold and dark months. Placing mulch at the base of the hydrangea can offer a bit more protection, an added layer, for the plant over the winter. 

Cutting Back Hydrangeas For Winter

Many hydrangeas operate differently when it comes to pruning. A good rule of thumb to operate by is to prune for aesthetic purposes, and for shaping. The plant does not need to be deadheaded, and it should be kept in mind that buds can emerge on old wood, depending on the hydrangea. Each variety has its own pruning needs, and these should be followed as not following them correctly could result in lack of flowers the following spring and summer.

Hydrangea Winter Care in Pots

Hydrangeas are hardy, but if left in a pot over winter it will be much colder than if left in the ground. Cold can much more easily access the roots if the hydrangea is planted in a pot. They can be brought inside, protecting the plant from the cold, and then brought back outside in the spring and summer. If wishing to keep the hydrangea in a pot, consider leaving the pot where it could be covered and insulated by snow, or next to the house to absorb residual heat.

Watering Hydrangeas in Winter

Hydrangeas should be supplementally watered if no rain or snow has been observed to add moisture. This doesn’t need to happen often, but if a drought is observed then watering is advised about once a week. Hydrangeas overwinter best when they remain hydrated, so while it’s not necessary, it would likely provide the best blooms. 

Growing Hydrangeas Indoors

Hydrangeas can be brought inside over winter. They may not provide blooms, but they will remain alive. They won’t enter a dormancy period if not left in the cold. Hydrangeas do not need dormancy in order to bloom in the spring and summer.

Steps to Care for Hydrangeas in Winter

Caring for hydrangeas in the winter is relatively straightforward, as they don’t require much intervention beyond a layer of mulch and occasional watering.

Step 1 - Prune hydrangeas only according to varietal instruction, or for aesthetic purposes.

Step 2 - Place a layer of mulch at the base of the plant. 

Step 3 - Water about once a week during the winter, if no snow or rain is observed.