ReneeHolloway
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hydrangeas in containers?

I have two hydrangeas that have been struggling this year despite my best efforts. Are they container friendly? Meaning, could i transplant them to large containers and bring them inside for the winter to nurse them back to health or would they be better off left in the garden?

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rainbowgardener
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Definitely better off left in the garden. Hydrangeas are temperate (not tropical) shrubs that need an extended period of cold dormancy. It needs some autumn frost to put it in to dormancy and then an extended period of of temps that stay below 40 degrees, in order to do best in the spring.

They can be damaged by very early frosts or very late frosts, that come while they are green and leafed out, but will survive even so.
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lily51
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I did try a "Limelight" hydrangea in a large container this year, hoping it will make it through the winter in the garage. The landscape business where I purchased it said it was an extremely hardy type that could make it through anything...didn't even think it needed to be put in a protected place for winter. Still, it's going to the garage. we'll see in the spring.

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rainbowgardener
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It might be better off not in the garage. It will get more light, rain, etc outdoors. There is an issue that the soil in containers freezes harder and is more vulnerable to freeze/thaw cycles than the ground. So outdoor containers would need more protection than outdoor in-ground plants. Any hydrangea would need some protection if it is in a very windy area. But as noted above, the hydrangea needs frost and cold dormancy.
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lily51
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Well, my plan was to move the potted limelight to the garage for protection over winter even tho landscape business said these were tough plants and would be fine outside. The container is in a corner by garage/patio.
I didn't get around to moving it, so it sat outside all winter.
Spring arrived, it has greened up, lots of leaves, looks as healthy as can be.
I was pleasantly surprised ! Maybe it was our record warm winter, the location or maybe this is a plant I've been looking for my whole gardening life!

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