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My daughter bought me an 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea for Mother's Day. I planted it in June. Should I cover it for the winter?
Since you have a new,
young shrub, I would recommend that you
cover it. This type of Hydrangea blooms on
year-old growth. This year's new growth is
very tender, so you'll want to protect it from
the winter winds. For most other plants,
covering them is less of a concern. Here are
a few questions to consider.
Is the plant hardy for your zone?
If you are dealing with a native plant that is
adapted to this zone then there should be no
need to cover it. If your plant is on the edge
of its hardiness zone, or if it is considered
a "tender perennial" for this zone, then I would
cover it. For shrubs, try loosely wrapping them
in a blanket of burlap. Tie the burlap all
together with some twine to keep it from
falling off during the winter. For perennials, cover
the roots or crown of the plant with a thick
layer of leaf litter and/or pine boughs.
Is your plant in a place where it could
be damaged by snow from the roof or shoveling off
the porch or walkway? If so, I would
recommend covering it with something sturdy. Try
making a "teepee" with plywood. Place the teepee
over the plant(s) so the snow impact is
absorbed by the plywood.
Do you have new garden beds or new plants
that were added late in the season? These
plants, regardless if they are woody or herbaceous,
should get some extra protection from
the cold. It is a good idea to cover them for the
first season or two, until they've matured
a bit more. If you mulched your beds in the fall,
that should provide good insulation for the
new roots. Otherwise, a thick layer of leaf litter
and/or pine boughs will do the trick. With
new shrubs, a covering of burlap will be sufficient.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.