How To Overwinter Large Hydrangea Bushes In The Garden

Question From: L. Rodgers - Westland, Michigan, United States
Q: I am working with a group on a garden on our church grounds. There is a large bush of hydrangeas in the garden, I have been told that there are multiple varieties. The flowers on the bush are bluish/purple. The garden is in the courtyard of an old convent. The flowers are predominantly in the shade, although in the deep of summer may get late afternoon light. In an inner courtyard, the flowers are protected from wind, but not the other elements. My question is how should I winterize the plants. I am getting conflicting directions from do nothing, to cut them down to the ground. Open to ideas.

A: Take photos of them in late winter or early spring and samples of flowers and leaves to an independent nursery or garden center in your area for an accurate ID. Do no prune them now. I would mulch them with a good quality organic material and fertilize them with Espoma Holly Tone in late winter or early spring. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.