|Winter got me like ..|
This spring some hardy hydrangea are missing the early vitality of prior years.
In 2018 the Midwest suffered through several days of continuous cold. Some weeks never saw the thermometer rise above twenty degrees Fahrenheit.
While the seemingly endless snow cover might have offered insulation for below-ground plants, the living stalks of many hydrangea varietals could not survive the sustained onslaught of icy temps. Rather than remain dormant, the upper eighty percent of many hydrangea appear lifeless. But that's not fatal for the entire plant.
My lace cap hydrangea hedge, which rounded out above three feet, is only green at the bottom quarter.
Forever and Ever look like lettuce plants.
Annabelle hydrangea, on the other hand, never missed a beat. It's not yet Memorial Day and these beauties are right on track. Healthy globes of green.
Annabelles are indigenous to Zones Five and Six. Many of the newer hydrangea introductions are dubbed "marginally hardy."
For the struggling plant, it's best to stand by. Don't remove the shrubs so long as they show signs of growth at the base.
Defer trimming back the brown stalks poking out from the plant base. But, if the branches were not trimmed back in the fall, cut back by one-third. Hopefully the remaining stalks will act as plant supports to new growth. If they're still protruding by late June, then cut back those that poke out.
Will there be hydrangea blooms this year? Yes, but maybe not as robust as past years.
Gardeners are experts in the art of patience. By next year, if there's fewer troughs of cold, blooms should return to normal.
|Annabelle in May|
That Annabelle is a repeat showstopper.
Ignore the funky looking hydrangea until summer is in full swing.
The vagrancies of nature can be accommodated if anticipated.
The Incrediball Hydrangea ~ From Annabelle to Forever and Ever