The winter of 2010-11 dealt three blows to gardens in the Northwest during three distinct rounds of near record cold weather and rain. A November freeze harmed many woody plants. Later freezes caused further damage. These were followed by continual rain and cloudiness well into May, which allowed little sunlight and warmth during the spring. Most plants responded by delaying their growth, some up to 6 weeks.
At Joy Creek Nursery, we usually cut back our hydrangeas at the end of February when we have labor available for winter cleanup. We have done this for many years and our hydrangeas have always responded well and shown little sign of damage from late frosts. This year, however, parts of our garden and stockfields look as if they suffered a total knock out. While we did not have any hydrangeas die, many lost much of their previous year’s wood. They are just now sending up new growth from their bases. We do not expect much bloom from them this year.
Despite all of these set-backs, a number of hydrangeas look untouched by the winter. Hydrangea serrata and its many cultivars did not suffer at all. The following is a list of Hydrangea macrophylla cultivars that show little damage from the winter.