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When the leaves fall off in winter, and the bare sticks are left over, those are what we call 'Old Wood' and is where the blooms are! Those are the branches that must be protected! I gather mine together and tie them so that I can get a cage of chicken wire around them, then fill the 'cage' with dry leaves, then wrap the whole thing with burlap and stake it down so it cannot blow over and that stays until I KNOW FOR SURE there will be no more freezes! HA! With the kind of spring we had it's very hard to keep them under cover but I didn't go back and cover them again when the weather turned cold, so it's my own durned fault!
To get the REALLY dead wood, wait until the plant is fully leafed out to look for branches that didn't make it. Best of luck to you this year!
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A friend of my husband gave him a start of a hydrangea last year. Do you cut it down and if so when?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By ga from Wheatfield, IN
I wait until spring and the plant begins to bud. Then I cut off what ever is above the highest green, and, of course, the old flower heads which I leave on for winter interest. If you cut the plant back to the ground, it will have to grow new stems before it can flower.
If you don't cut them back, they will grow bigger every year.
I don't cut mine, except for the woody stems that stick up from the green in the Spring. That way my Hydrangeas
are big and healthy.
When do I prune my Quick Fire hydrangea?
By Peggy C