How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds

I love hydrangeas….both heartier panicles & show-stopping Endless Summers.  As I put my garden to bed for the year in Zone 6, with everything going dormant, I wondered “How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds?”  Because most hydrangeas survive the cold pretty well: but it’s the wind which can really damage them…especially if they’re newly-planted.  And I found a brilliant answer to this question earlier this fall, which I’ve already incorporated into my garden design….

How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter WInds, Girl Who Gardens

There’s ONE thing you can do, besides adding mulch, to help protect your hydrangeas during winter….

Roses

Panicle Hydrangeas

Foxgloves

How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds

There are two main things you can do to protect hydrangeas during the winter, especially from the wind.  One is fairly obvious, while the other may not be….

  • Add Mulch: Whether you’ve got Endless Summer hydrangeas or panicles ~ both can use an extra layer of mulch right on top of the root area, to keep them *warm* during wintertime.  Almost all plants can use an extra layer of mulch before winter: it’s just a matter of how much work you want to do in the fall.
  • **Surround Hydrangeas with OTHER Plants!!  This is the tip that may not be so obvious: if you surround hydrangeas, especially big-leaf ones (panicles are naturally heartier), with other plants ~ such as tall Karl Foersters, trees, evergreens, native grasses, large shrubs, or boxwoods (i.e. things that do well during winter & have some height), this will protect your hydrangeas better than almost anything else, from punishing winter winds….which can really damage young or fragile hydrangeas.

How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter WInds, Girl Who Gardens

This is my “Winter Garden.” Three evergreens in a row protect my hydrangeas (covered in snow!) from harsh western winds, that come right off the mountains.

Hydrangeas + Furniture, How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter, Girl Who Gardens

Outdoor furniture, high walls, & tall trees protect these beautiful blue hydrangeas from both cold & wind.

How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds, Good Companion Plants for Hydrangeas, Girl Who Gardens

A row of evergreen arborvitae planted BEHIND these hydrangeas gives them a great backdrop, AND protects them from strong winds.

How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter, Great Companion Plants for Hydrangeas, Girl Who Gardens

Planting hydrangeas CLOSE to the home also protects them in winter, as the ground closer to the home is warmer, & the house itself helps to block the wind. Photo by Southern Living.

How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds, Girl Who Gardens

These gorgeous white hydrangeas are show-stoppers: but tall trees of all kinds surround the outer edges of this garden, protecting hydrangeas all winter long from the elements.

Ways to Protect Hydrangeas in the Winter

  • Surround them with other plants, ideally taller ones, to help protect them from high winds;
  • Plant them closer to the home, where the ground is warmer;
  • Plant hydrangeas near a high fence, which can also shield them from winds;
  • Place them in pots around a She Shed, potting shed, pergola, or other man-made structure ~ which can help block high winds during the winter;
  • If in pots: consider bringing them into the garage, a potting shed, or covering them with a blanket, burlap, or some other type of protection from cold & winds;
  • If it’s too late to plant: get creative! Whether hydrangeas are in the ground or in pots ~ surround them with outdoor furniture, outdoor fountains, raised garden beds, other potted plants, tall wine barrels, outdoor ottomans….anything you can think of to give them some protection!

Hydrangeas + Furniture, How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter, Girl Who Gardens

This outdoor couch perfectly protects the hydrangeas behind it from winter cold & wind. Photo by Kelly Elko.

How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter, Girl Who Gardens

Wine barrels are a great way to DISPLAY hydrangeas….

How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter, Girl Who Gardens

But they’re also a REALLY creative way to shield hydrangeas from winter winds. Photo by Tammy Hughes.

 

Shop for Hydrangea “Protectors!”

Tiered Garden Bed

Authentic Wine Barrel

Outdoor Furniture

How to Protect Hydrangeas in Winter

Because hydrangeas are one of my favorite plants, I’ve written several articles about them ~ including the best way to fertilize them, & how to prevent them from wilting during the summer heat!

Happy Gardening!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: Good Companion Plants for Hydrangeas

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How to Protect Hydrangeas from Winter Winds, Girl Who Gardens

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