How to cover hydrangea for the winter?
Hydrangeas are not accidentally called shrubs indispensable for landscape design. Modern and romantic, with dense and large inflorescences, they are a true decoration of shaded places and in fact do not know their competitors. But no matter how beautiful hydrangeas are, growing them is not so simple. You can achieve colorful hydrangea blooms only with careful care. Due to insufficient frost resistance, they need shelter for the winter, which you cannot call simple. However, the view of the magnificent caps of hydrangea inflorescences is worth all the effort.
- Preparing hydrangea for wintering
- The need for hydrangeas for shelter
- Hydrangea Shelter Features
- Hydrangea Wrapping Rules
Preparing hydrangea for wintering
Hydrangeas begin to prepare for winter from September. True, they will not need complicated care or special events at all, and such preparation will not take much effort. It is only necessary not to forget in time to stop some procedures and conduct others:
- Hydrangeas are pruned only in early spring, but this does not mean that plants do not need attention in anticipation of the coldest time of the year. In hydrangea, it is better to sanitize - remove dry or damaged shoots by treating the slices with garden varieties or a special protective compound.
- All dry leaves are collected under the bushes, destroying them immediately. In large-leaved hydrangea, in early September, it is necessary to remove all leaves from the lower half of the bush. Thus, the lignification of shoots is stimulated and their frost resistance increases. Before the onset of frost, all leaves on hydrangeas are removed, leaving only the apices to protect the flower buds.
- Pruning inflorescences before winter is not a simple matter. Dry hydrangea caps adorn the garden, look great under the snow, and are surprisingly touching even when dry. Therefore, if you have no other reason to cut and if hydrangeas are not completely covered for the winter (that is, they do not belong to the large-leaved and Sargent cultivars, bushes older than 2 years), then do not remove the inflorescences before winter, but leave them to decorate the winter garden. In large-leaved hydrangea, all inflorescences are removed before the onset of frost.
- Since mid-summer, only hydrated potassium phosphate fertilizers have been administered.
- From mid-September, watering is stopped for all hydrangeas; water-loading irrigation before wintering for these shrubs is not carried out. If possible, for hydrangea large-leaved, they create protection against excessive moisture by installing a frame with a film over the bushes that will prevent water from entering the bushes during rains.
The need for hydrangeas for shelter
Of the types of hydrangeas that are suitable for growing in the middle lane, only two plants need shelter - Large leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, or garden hydrangea) and Hydrangea Sargent (Hydrangea sargentiana) But in fact, some protection for the winter will be needed and Hydrangea tree (Hydrangea arborescens).
The winter hardiness of hydrangeas varies with age. Whatever form it is, in the first two years after planting, the bushes need to be further protected for the winter. Older shrubs, with the exception of the two above species, do not even need hilling and winter well.
Hydrangea Shelter Features
Unlike other garden shrubs that need protection for the winter with beautiful flowering, hydrangeas are not afraid of brewing. These are heat-loving plants, in the shelter of which you can use almost any material that does not even help breathing and increases humidity. So, hydrangeas hibernate even under a layer of foliage, which gets wet under polyethylene. And such non-capriciousness greatly simplifies the shelter process itself.
First of all, hydrangeas need to protect flower buds (so, for large-leaved hydrangea, the main task is to save the tops of the shoots). Such a task is performed only by bending the branches to the ground. But one should not be afraid of this: hydrangeas, despite their massiveness, are flexible enough and tolerate such an inclination very well.
Choosing the right timing for hydrangea shelters is easy. It’s best not to pull until frosts and shelter during October, immediately after the first night frosts or on the eve of the beginning of stable drops in temperature below 0. Hydrangeas, unlike many other shrubs, can be covered not in stages, but at a time, but the ventilation holes still need to leave up to serious frost. It is better to ventilate hydrangeas during winter thaws.
Shelter of young hydrangeas
Hydrangeas planted this year for the winter should be protected, and if possible, cover plants in the first two years. True, we are not talking about complex methods of shelter: young hydrangeas are content with the most modest measures that compensate for temperature differences and the possible absence of snow.
To prepare the plant for winter in the first years of cultivation, it is enough:
- Spud the base of the bushes with dry soil.
- Mulch the trunk circle with a thick layer of dry leaves.
Tree Hydrangea Shelter
This type of hydrangea is perfectly restored after freezing, it grows quickly enough. But it blooms better with preventive shelter. Hilling is the first and obligatory stage. Large bushes of the plant do not bend, but are tied to a reliable peg, insulated with lapnik around.
Sargent Hydrangea Shelter
For this type of hydrangea you will need almost the same shelter as for young bushes. But unlike ordinary hydrangeas, Sargent necessarily wraps the crown.
To prepare the plant for winter, you must:
- Mulch the soil in the near-stem circle with dry foliage.
- Spud the base of the bush with dry soil.
- Install a cardboard box over the bush or wrap the crown with paper, non-woven materials.
Shelter for large-leaved hydrangea
This is the most difficult type of hydrangea in preparation for winter, which needs to be protected not only from winter weather surprises, but also from spring frosts, sharp temperature fluctuations with the arrival of heat. Shelter of this hydrangea requires not only the timely start of preparation, but also the mandatory binding of shoots.
To protect large-leaved hydrangea for the winter, it is necessary:
- After removing the inflorescences and leaves, collect the shoots of the bush in a bunch and gently bend to the ground. They are usually placed on boards or boards to avoid contact with the soil. The branches are fixed with twine or in any other convenient way.
- The bush, laid on the ground, is completely covered with dry leaves, sawdust, and earth. You can first lay a wooden shield on hydrangea or stretch a layer of nonwoven materials, and only then fall asleep. Thus, you will create several layers of shelter with air layers and protect the plant from any unpleasant surprises of unstable weather. And the bush "directly" will not be in contact with the insulation, hydrangea will not get wet, it will not get dirty, the risk of spreading diseases and pests will decrease.
- Hydrangeas are covered with plastic wrap on top, reliably fixing it at the edges. In the shelter leave vents for ventilation, which are closed only in severe frosts.
- In snowless winters, spruce branches or branches are laid on the film, in the presence of snow - it is additionally added.
There are other shelter strategies for this type of hydrangea:
- Shelter with roofing material. After binding, the plant is not bent, but a ruberoid is wrapped around it, creating a kind of cylinder around the crown. The roofing material is stretched loosely, do not squeeze the bush, leaving about 10 cm from the bush to the walls and measuring so that the roofing material rises half a meter above the hydrangea. You do not need to create several layers: just wrap the edges and fix with a twine in several places. Dry leaves fall asleep inside the cylinder, and with the advent of severe frosts, the top is tightened with a film or non-woven material.
- Installation around the frame of strong columns with pulling several layers of non-woven materials and similarly falling asleep with dry leaves. For low bushes, you can "dress" on top of a box or basket.
- Shelter with spruce branches: spruce bushes, a spruce branch is laid under them, and hydrangea branches are already bent on it. The spruce branches are again laid on the shrub, and the final layer is made of film or non-woven material, firmly fixed.
Rules for hydrangea unwinding
Like other shrubs that need more serious shelter for the winter, hydrangeas must be opened gradually, layer by layer. Especially important is the process of slow removal of protection for large-flowered hydrangea. They begin to take cover with the arrival of the first heat, removing the film or non-woven material for a day and returning it in case of return frosts. The leaves that covered the plants must be dried already in mid-spring. The leaves themselves are removed from the bushes only when the hydrangeas buds begin to grow. Swirling land is removed last. After removing the land, the bush is untied immediately, but left for several days until inspection and pruning.