Hydrangeas

(Question)

Hi , I`m a very new gardener . I recently planted two Hydrangeas in my backyard , the Cityline Paris and Incrediball. Could you give me some tips how to prepare them and to do with them before the winter? ( we live in GTA ).

(Answer)

Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening! You’ve picked a couple of very flashy plants I am sure you are enjoying. Even though the two plants look very much alike you have two different types of hydrangeas. The Cityline Paris Hydrangea is a macrophylla hydrangea and the Incrediball is an arborescens hydrangea.

The Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Cityline Paris’ is more susceptible to cold weather than the Incrediball.  Partly because its flowers bloom on old wood. That means that if the tips of your shrub die during the winter then you will not have any flowers that year. It has a low end hardiness rating of zone 5a and in the GTA we are rated between zone 5 and 6.  As you can see, this plant is on the edge of our coldness zone and the farmer’s almanac is forecasting an unseasonably cold winter this year so some protection this winter would be a great idea.

The Hydrangea arborescens ‘Incrediball’ has a hardiness rating that goes down to zone 3 so it is hardier and well equipped to deal with our zone 5 and some winters that dip below that temperature zone. This plant flowers on new wood which means that if you have die back in the winter you will still get blooms on the new wood that grows that year. Having said that, winter protection is still generally a good idea for all new plants if done properly.

I have attached a link below to an article on protecting your plants from winter injury on the Cornell University website. The article gives general guidelines for winter protection but it does have a specific paragraph on hydrangea macrophyllas. I would suggest using the burlap screen they describe along with the watering and mulching instructions.

I wish you many years of enjoyment with your Hydrangeas!

https://blogs.cornell.edu/ccesuffolkligardening/tag/hydrangea-macrophylla/