Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hydrangea Wrapped For Winter

When I moved into my home, there was a hydrangea by the lamp post that produced no flowers. I knew that the deer were eating it regularly. So I began a successful regiment of deer spraying, only to find that each winter it also got killed to the ground. I find that in my Zone 6b garden hydrangea are frequently only root hardy which means that the stems are prone to being killed by the cold. Since this hydrangea only flowers on old wood it produced no flowers--it was just a foliage plant.

That fall I asked my husband to wrap it in burlap and cover it with oak leaves. I asked him to do it too late and we ran out of leaves, so we only protected the lower half of the plant. This year we got a few flowers. For the first time I saw they were mopheads with pink sepals edged in white. I asked my husband to start earlier and we covered the entire plant. He wrapped burlap around three bamboo stakes and stuffed it full of oak leaves, covering it entirely to about four feet high. Hopefully next year, the whole plant will produce flowers.

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