Do potted hydrangeas need to come inside for the winter? What’s a year-round care strategy for hydrangeas? I’ve been keeping them in the garage during the cold season

Hydrangeas, as you are probably well aware, are a great patio container plant.

You’ll also be happy to hear that winter care requires nominal effort. Now that you’ve moved your hydrangeas into the garage, you can lug them back outside again because that is the best place for them over the winter.

In most hardiness zones, you can leave hydrangeas on your patio unprotected, as they are very cold hardy. Some are even just fine in zone 2, which can get as cold as -40 C! Ouch. Every hydrangea has a different tolerance and even though they all can handle a certain amount of cold, ensure that you have a variety appropriate for your climate. And if you are planting in a container, zone up! (See below.)

Ensure that the containers they’re planted in have adequate drainage, as poor drainage can do serious damage to the plants. Otherwise your hydrangeas will be just fine, requiring the same maintenance and care as they would out in the garden.

Remember, too, that the best time to prune your hydrangea is in the fall.

Zone up those container plants

If you are planning to grow a perennial in a pot, zone up to ensure success! In a container, your plants have less protection from the cold than they would have in the ground. So if you live in a zone 4, for example, I would recommend that you select a plant variety that is hardy to zone 3.

Cold hydrangeas survive over the winter months with nominal effort.