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Hydrangeas overwinter in the garden: protect plants in the bed with proper care and frost protection

The beautiful hydrangea has delighted you with stunning blooms this year, but now the season is over. As a newcomer to plant care, you may be worried about the coming winter and whether your garden hydrangea will be able to survive it, or whether and how you can support it. With our tips, it’ll be a breeze and you’ll enjoy great blooms again next year. We explain how to overwinter hydrangeas in the garden.

Hydrangea overwinter in the garden – Is the hydrangea hardy?

Hydrangeas overwinter in the garden - Prepare and protect the shrubs for the winter.

Unlike the potted plant, the hydrangea in the bed is relatively hardy, but under certain conditions. First, it depends on the species, because some are less frost resistant, others more. This is due in part to the increasing interest in raising hydrangeas as container plants. As a result, winter hardiness is no longer a priority for growers. This is especially true of some plate and farmers’ hydrangeas, while climbing hydrangeas, panicle hydrangeas, woodland hydrangeas, garden hydrangeas and Japanese hydrangeas can withstand frost particularly well.

Tip: Shade-loving varieties are hardier, while those that prefer full sun as a location are more sensitive to cold.

On the other hand, the region or the winter itself also plays a role. If this is particularly cold (with nights below minus 20 degrees), then the plant needs a little support to get through the cold season.

Some varieties of hydrangea are better protected from frost and more winter hardy

Last but not least, age is also crucial. The younger your garden hydrangea is, the more it will also need extra protection. If you have even just planted them fresh, even more so!

After we have already explained how to properly overwinter the tub hydrangea , we would now like to give you a few tips on how to in turn hydrangea overwinter in the garden. Here’s how to proceed:

Cut off withered flowers and branches in autumn without radical pruning

How do I overwinter hydrangeas?

If you want to be on the safe side, you can use winter protection even for the particularly hardy varieties . This will certainly not do any harm. But if you want to winter hydrangeas in the garden in the bed, the preparation of the bushes is also of great importance. Let’s summarize the most important things:

Hydrangea wintering in the garden – prepare the garden hydrangea.

Before you start winter protection, it is important to prepare the garden hydrangea. Only in this way hydrangeas can overwinter in the garden without suffering any damage:

  • Some varieties still bloom even in the fall, and as long as this blooming continues, you do not need to worry about winter protection yet. As soon as they have wilted, cut them back.
  • Cut off any parts of the plant that have withered.
  • Also, rake up any fallen leaves regularly to prevent fungal growth from the high humidity in the fall.
  • Normally, all leaves should have fallen from the shrub by winter. However, if fall suddenly turns to winter instead of gradually, you may need to do some remedial work by plucking them off.
  • Continue not to let the soil dry out, but keep them moist until the first frost.
  • Stop fertilizing in the fall, as this would encourage growth, and anything that sprouts new in the fall may freeze in the winter. And in this case, usually the older parts of the plant also carry damage.

How to protect the plant with the right winter protection

Hydrangea overwinter in the garden with a winter shelter made of bark mulch, brushwood, peat and other materials


When you read winter protection, please do not think of a big effort. On the contrary, the plants need only a little protection, and usually rather just to be on the safe side. What should you do to successfully winter your hydrangeas in the garden?

Hydrangeas overwinter in the garden - Protect the shrub from frost with fleece or linen

All you need to do is:

  • Spread insulating material around the plant, that is, above the roots, with a layer of about 20 cm above the root neck is optimal. Here you have a choice of bark mulch, garden soil, compost, peat and brushwood.
  • Protect the shoots if you cut your hydrangeas in the fall . Because if the plant sprouts now, it is particularly sensitive parts of the plant, which would most likely be harmed by frost. For small shrubs, it is easy to put burlap or a plant fleece over the plants at night.

Note: Even very large shrubs are difficult or impossible to cover with linen. Therefore, it is more advisable to wait until spring before pruning.

Winter care for hydrangea - how to take care of the plants in the flower bed.