My passion for hydrangeas started early last summer after I planted Annabelle. The huge white balls of flowers are the most popular of hydrangeas around here, so I became more interested in the colourful macrophyllas wanting to have something different in my garden. That same month I purchased All Summer Beauty from the Endless Summer collection, Red Sensation from the Forever & Ever collection, Glowing Embers, Hamburg, Cityline Mars and Cityline Vienna. It became an obsession to where I even purchased books about hydrangeas and spent some time searching on the web for different varieties knowing full well that these were borderline hardy here. I also planted a few from the paniculata family – PeeGee, Limelight, Pink Diamond, Bombshell and Kyushu [I no longer have Kyushu as my dog felt he needed to pull it out of the ground and eat it last fall].
After doing lots of reading on how to over winter the macro hydrangeas in zone 5 I decided on burlaping them while providing a thick layer of leaf mulch around the base of each. I think I became a freak about this and used burlap too early. I wrapped them up in late October which means the hydrangeas still had most of their leaves. Upon removing the burlap in early March I discovered lots of dead canes and moldy, black shriveled leaves still hanging on to the canes. A lesson learned.
Here is what they all look like today –
Vienna, not doing very much.
Red Sensation. I cut this one right down to the ground as it also blooms on new wood. I have just noticed a flower bud on this one.
All Summer Beauty. Despite this one looking terrible it has 3 flower buds from the new growth. Also, I did not burlap this hydrangea, but the canes still look dead. At least they aren’t leafing out so I assume they are dead.
I’m thinking I will just cut them all down to where the new growth as started and I’m also thinking I won’t burlap them this winter. Just leave them be and see what happens next spring. All of these macros are planted in the backyard where I don’t have true gardens yet.
On a side note, all my paniculatas look great and I’ll take photos of them when they’re loaded with blooms.