When do hydrangea leaves grow in?
April 27, 2016 10:13 AM   Subscribe

My hydrangea is just brown sticks from last year. When should I expect leaves to appear?

I was surprised to find that Google was no help here. I have a hydrangea that's come back for a few years, and is currently just a bunch of brown sticks from last year. I was about to concede that it didn't survive the winter and yank it out, but I realized that the ones in garden stores look the same way right now.

Everything else out here (Eastern MA; on the line between zone 5 and zone 6) is in bloom or at least has leaves. When do hydrangeas start to push out leaves?
posted by fogster to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
 
This is such a local thing that I'd suggest asking at one of those garden stores, or of a local extension service or botanical garden.

I mean, mine are growning in, but only a little, and I'm in North Carolina so it's not really a good indicator.
posted by amtho at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2016


I'm in zone 5 in Illinois. We've got things starting to leaf out - this is peak week for blooming trees like redbuds and flowering pears and crabapples - but my hydrangeas are still sticks. Patience, grasshopper. If they've reliably grown for a few years, they should be just fine.
posted by sarajane at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2016


Do not give up yet! My plant is full of leaves and blooms - but I'm in Georgia.

Take your thumb nail and "scrape" one of those "brown sticks" - if you see green where you did the scraping then it is not dead yet!

Make sure you cut your plant back after the blooms have died to ensure booms for the following year.
posted by pamspanda at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have a hydrangea in Providence RI and the buds on those brown sticks are just starting to break open even though everything else is leafed out and blooming. So, yes, patience is in order.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just confirming what others have said... out here in Western Mass, our hydrangeas are just starting to get teeny leaves now, but won't be full and in bloom probably until late summer.
posted by dayintoday at 10:42 AM on April 27, 2016


Check to see if they have leaf buds, they shouldn't just be sticks at this point. Even If they got hit hard last winter they should still be sprouting leaves from the very base of the plant, closest to the ground. I'm in eastern Mass and all our hydrangeas have leafed out already. You shouldn't be that far behind.
posted by lydhre at 10:51 AM on April 27, 2016


I put in two new hydrangea plants last year. The endless summer one has green leaves at the base under the sticks. The oak leaf one is leafing off the old growth. I'm in mid-Missouri, zone 6a.
posted by aabbbiee at 1:06 PM on April 27, 2016


Keep in mind that in addition to the usual mysteries of plant life, the late snowstorm snowstorm in April may have confused things as well. My hydrangeas near sturbridge are not open yet, but my forsythia also blossomed only halfway and tulips are super late compared to the timing of daffodils in my yard....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 4:38 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


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