How to Winterize Hydrangeas


The lacy lavender and pink blooms of hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) make the plants popular choices for landscaping. The bushes can grow quite large, making them a good foundation planting. The flowers can be used in arrangements, and they also dry well. Hydrangeas are hardy to Zone 6 but should be protected any time temperatures fall into the single digits. Though hydrangea plants may come back after die-back due to freezing, hydrangea blooms form on the previous year's growth. A plant that freezes and comes back in the spring won't bloom in the summer.

Step 1

Build a cage from chicken wire or net wire around the hydrangea. Tomato cages work for smaller plants, but large shrubs will require custom-made cages. Brace the wire with wooden stakes for added support to guard against collapse under the weight of snow.

Step 2

Line the cage with burlap or cardboard. Don't use plastic. Material that will allow air through is needed. Put the material inside the wire so wind doesn't blow it away.

Step 3

Fill in the cage with leaves or loose straw. Completely cover the hydrangea in leaves or straw to insulate the plants from the cold. Set aside an extra bag of leaves or straw in a garage or shed.

Step 4

Check the cage periodically during the winter, particularly after a snow. If the insulation in the cage has settled, add more from the bag you saved.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Stakes
  • Burlap or cardboard
  • Leaves or straw


  • Winter Protection of Hydrangeas
  • Winterizing Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Who Can Help

  • Caring for Hydrangeas
Keywords: hydrangea plants, hydrangea blooms, insulate plants from cold

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.