How To Cover Hydrangea For Winter: Popular Ways (Part 1)

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The main method of hiding Hydrangea macrophylla

So, let’s consider how and with what it is possible and necessary to insulate this variety of hydrangeas. Competent preparation of heat-loving plants for winter should always take place in several stages. First of all, it is important to properly bring them to winter, gradually nullifying watering, feeding them with special autumn complex fertilizers, etc. A strong, healthy and “ripe” plant has much more chances to tolerate hibernation well than a weak specimen.

Starting from the 20th of September, they begin step-by-step preparation for wintering. Be sure to cut flower caps (they, by the way, look luxurious in dry bouquets). At the end of September, the shoots are tied into bundles and gradually bent, gradually pulling down, so it will be easier to lower them to the ground. If the bush is large, then make 2-3 bundles and then tilt them in different directions, pressing something. Thin garden arcs are well suited for this, but you can use homemade hooks made of rigid insulated wire, staples, etc.

How To Cover Hydrangea For Winter: Popular Ways (Part 1)

It is advisable to put a piece of a log or an empty plastic bottle from under the water under the bend. Contact with the ground should be avoided, and therefore a piece of plywood, a board or something similar should be placed under the ends of the branches lowered down. Before the first frosts, a thin light covering material should be thrown over the prepared bushes. In this form, the plants will stand until the onset of stable frosts -1…-4 ° C.

Closer to the winter cold, when the temperature no longer jumps from minus to plus, it is necessary to strengthen the insulation. Cover the center of the bush with forest litter, dry leaves or even peat. Prepare a denser covering material (for example, 60 g / m2), install strong arcs criss-cross over the bushes and cover the plant — this will be the second layer with an air gap above the first. The third layer is a black film. It is needed in order to protect from getting wet. Opaque material of black color is used to prevent hydrangeas from waking up in March, when the bright sun begins to shine.

How To Cover Hydrangea For Winter: Popular Ways (Part 1)

With such a three-layer shelter, Hydrangea macrophylla hibernate well. In the spring, you need to remove these layers gradually, taking into account the weather forecast and not removing everything at once.

To facilitate the autumn troubles with the construction of a shelter, you can use ready-made houses for heat-loving plants. Gardeners have been using them for more than a year — and they respond only on the positive side.

Variants of the main method

The main method of shelter practically guarantees the safety of Hydrangea macrophylla, however, there are also options. First of all, it must be said that some gardeners do not like to cover hydrangeas with a film: they are baked out. This is especially true for those who close the summer season early, moving out to the city, and do not have the opportunity to visit the site in the spring at the first need. In such cases, it is necessary to abandon the film layer. Alternatively, you can fix it only from above, arranging a semblance of a waterproof roof, but leaving the side holes covered only with breathable material.

It is often possible to find recommendations to cut off or trim the leaves before hiding, so that they do not become a source of infections, but in some cases it is problematic to do this. Therefore, if you have concerns or prerequisites for the fact that hydrangea can get sick, it is better to spray the foliage with copper-containing fungicides ahead of time.

Frame shelter

Gardeners are very inventive people, especially when it comes to heat-loving beauties-hydrangeas. It is not always possible to bend the shoots lower to the ground, and then a frame house is made for wintering. Here is the first option.

How To Cover Hydrangea For Winter: Popular Ways (Part 1)

The prepared bush should be covered with coniferous litter or dry foliage — and install a frame that is covered from inside and outside with a dense covering material with a small air layer. A plastic wrap can be stretched on top. Such a frame is easy to make from four stakes driven along the perimeter of the bush, wrapped with twine, and on top of the structure with a covering material.

There are other options for frame insulation. In a milder climate, you can limit yourself to a mesh cylinder filled with dry foliage. The same frame is easy to wrap with dense lutrasil and film in more severe frosts. And a solid “house” of rails can be wrapped with insulation, as in the photo below on the right.

How To Cover Hydrangea For Winter: Popular Ways (Part 1)
On the left is a mesh frame filled with dry foliage. On the right is a solid frame wrapped with lutrasil and insulation.

Foam, mineral wool

Winter shelters for heat-loving hydrangeas can be arranged using modern building materials. It is important to show imagination here. Gardeners make boxes and huts made of foam. At first, the plant is prepared, bent, covered with thin material, and with the onset of stable cooling, a box of this sheet insulation is installed, similar to the one in the photo below. Additionally, you can put dry foliage or straw inside.

If you have mineral wool at hand, you can make insulation from it. A box made of sheet material is made like a foam. If the insulation is rolled, then it is rolled into a cylinder. Such “houses” are used as a final shelter when establishing frosty weather. Do not forget to securely fasten them in place with stakes so that a gust of wind does not blow away the entire structure.

Undoubtedly, in the case of Hydrangea macrophylla, as well as similar heat-loving plants, we act by adhering to the proverb: hunting is stronger than captivity. I really want to see these beautiful shrubs in my garden, despite all the difficulties of cultivation. However, it is better to start breeding hydrangeas with more winter-hardy species that do not require a special approach and easily tolerate cold.

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