Hydrangeas: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Fall

Hydrangeas: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Fall

Hydrangeas In The Fall – The 3 Biggest Mistakes Gardeners Make With Hydrangeas Before Winter!

Hydrangeas in Fall


Fall is a critical time for gardeners to prepare their plants for the upcoming winter. One beautiful flower that requires special attention during this season is the hydrangea. With their stunning blooms and lush foliage, hydrangeas can be a highlight of any garden. However, if not properly cared for in the fall, these delicate plants may not survive the winter and bloom again next year.

In this article, we’ll discuss the three biggest mistakes gardeners make with hydrangeas in the fall and provide you with tips on how to avoid them. By following these suggestions, you can ensure that your hydrangeas not only survive but thrive during the winter months.

Mistake #1: Pruning at the Wrong Time

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make with hydrangeas in the fall is pruning at the wrong time. Hydrangeas have different blooming habits, and the timing of pruning plays a crucial role in their growth and development.

Tip: To determine the correct time for pruning, identify the type of hydrangea you have. If your hydrangea blooms on old wood (i.e., the previous year’s growth), such as the mophead or lacecap hydrangea, avoid fall pruning. These varieties set their flower buds in late summer/fall and pruning them in the fall or winter will remove the buds, resulting in no blooms next year. Instead, prune them immediately after flowering in the summer.

My 2 Cents: Pruning hydrangeas can be confusing, but understanding when to prune based on the type of hydrangea you have will ensure the best results. Remember, fall pruning may result in no blooms next year for specific hydrangea types, so timing is everything!

Mistake #2: Neglecting Proper Winter Protection

Another mistake many gardeners make is neglecting to protect their hydrangeas properly during the winter months. Hydrangeas are susceptible to winter damage, especially in regions with harsh and cold climates.

Tip: Here are a few measures you can take to protect your hydrangeas during winter:

– Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help insulate the roots and retain moisture.
– Wrapping: For younger or more vulnerable plants, consider wrapping them in burlap or using protective covers to shield them from harsh winter winds.
– Watering: Hydrangeas may still need watering during the winter. Make sure the soil is not too dry, as this can cause significant stress to the plant.

My 2 Cents: Winter protection is vital for hydrangeas, especially in colder regions. Taking a few simple steps to shield your plants can make a significant difference in their survival and overall health.

Mistake #3: Overlooking Proper Fertilization

Proper fertilization is crucial for the healthy growth and blooming of any plant, including hydrangeas. Unfortunately, many gardeners overlook this aspect, leading to poor performance and disappointing blooms.

Tip: Follow these fertilizer tips to ensure your hydrangeas receive the nutrients they need:

– Timing: Fertilize hydrangeas in early spring when the first signs of new growth appear.
– Balanced Fertilizer: Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, to provide a good mix of essential nutrients.
– Shallow Application: Scatter the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant, avoiding direct contact with the stems.
– Avoid Over-fertilizing: Applying too much fertilizer can burn the plants and damage their roots. Follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer packaging.

My 2 Cents: Fertilizing your hydrangeas correctly will help promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to fertilization, and always follow the instructions on the label.


Taking care of hydrangeas in the fall is essential for their survival and future blooms. By avoiding the three biggest mistakes gardeners make – pruning at the wrong time, neglecting proper winter protection, and overlooking proper fertilization – you can ensure the health and beauty of your hydrangeas year after year.

Remember to identify the type of hydrangea you have, provide adequate winter protection, and fertilize at the right time and with the right amount. By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to having stunning hydrangeas in your garden.

My 2 Cents:

Hydrangeas are exquisite plants that can bring joy and beauty to any garden. With a little extra care and attention in the fall, you can ensure their survival even through the harshest of winters. Remember to know your hydrangea type, protect it from the elements, and feed it with the right nutrients at the right time. Your hydrangeas will reward you with showstopping blooms that will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood. Happy gardening!