Hydrangea comeback

Louisville, KY

I thought I had lost this Hydrangea to winter-kill, but 2 or 3 weeks ago I noticed new growth from the root. It has continued to grow, and looks healthy.

Is there any special care I should give it, other than keeping the choking vines off? I don't think it should get any growth stimulating fertilizer, but should it get any kind of feeding? Thank you.


Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

What kind of hydrangea and what kind of conditions is it growing in? I have a feeling it is a macrophylla since most of the eastern part of the country had degrees of winter kill on their old stems. Most hydrangeas will make a good comeback but some will not bloom this year (a lot of older macrophyllas only bloom on old wood). I've had to cut a lot of old wood out of mine this year but some are blooming on what has come back. Some probably won't bloom but I am more concerned with healthy growth for future summers.

Some fertilizer would be good to get some growth in it but not a lot. Look through some old threads to get an idea on what recommendations for feeding your hydrangeas.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

On newly planted shrubs, I normally add 1/2 cup of organic compost or cottonseed meal but in older ones, I add 1 cup. If suing a chemical fertilizer, apply it according to the label's directions. Optional: liquid seaweed, liquid fish and coffee grounds. But stop all fertilizers in July-ish so the plant will go dormant at its proper time.

Louisville, KY

Thank you both,

I have no idea what variety it is. It was was here when I moved in 34 years ago. I suppose it would be a macrophylla, it matches the picture I saw when I googled the term.

It's growing in an area which used to get so much shade that it wouldn't grow grass, only moss. Some trees have been cut so there is more sun now. It is surrounded by ornamental grasses, perennial lilies, some iris, and geranium. Once I put the plantings in and couldn't mow, the English Ivy and other vines have about taken over. I spry the ipomeas and such, but nothing I have tried touches English ivy.

This bush has always bloomed. I have never fed it regularly, sometimes give it a handful of Ironite and some ammonium sulphate. I've thrown rusty nails under it to encourage the blue coloration. I cut off the spent flower heads and remove any dead wood in the fall, that's about all the care it gets. The pictures show before and after removing the old wood which was completely dead, no green under the bark.

Thumbnail by JHarp Thumbnail by JHarp
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh yeah. Looks like the stems dried out during the winter all right. Join the club; it has been a bad year for many Macs. I am scheduled to cut off those dry looking stems Sunday Morning myself.

Only protected Macs bloomed for me this year. Not likely that you will get blooms this year either although I sometimes get surprise bloomage when the temps go down in the Fall and the planets are properly aligned. :o)

Macs normally develop invisible flower buds in July-August and then they open the next Spring (2015) so be done with pruning, mulching and fertilizing before July.


Louisville, KY

Thanks Luis.

I have composted cow manure, which seems to be mostly sand, and I can save some coffee grounds for it. Just vegetable matter compost seems to be hard to find around here unless you can buy in bulk. I don't have a pickup for hauling things like that any more. I have pine straw for mulch. Thanks for the tip to get it all done by July.


Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Hollytone works extremely well for hydrangeas. It is a slow feed and can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, and many garden centers. :)

Louisville, KY

Old thread, new picture.

As it looked June 14 2016.

Thumbnail by JHarp
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh, nice. It looks pretty happy where it is and so much larger!

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