hydrangeas and sandy soil

Asked October 30, 2017, 11:36 AM EDT

We've owned this property for 20+ years and eight years ago I started buying Twist & Shout hydrangeas. They survived until my husband laid a sandstone fire ring and I warned him to stay away from "that one hydrangea". He did and following years that plant has thrived!
Since I garden by observation I realized my composting didn't help the hydrangeas and maybe sand would. Since we live on an ancient ocean bed, I picked up sand from the sand stone bluffs near us plus commercial sand from a garden center.
When I cleaned garden house last weekend and discovered 3-5 gallon buckets of sand leftover so I spread the sand around the surviving hydrangeas. We had frost and snow 4 days ago & today I glanced out and saw I needed to cut the hydrangeas back. When I got into the garden, the thriving hydrangea was perfectly happy, unaffected by the snow and frost. Should I have dug that sand into the soil when I dumped it next to and on to the other hydrangeas?

Olmsted County Minnesota

1 Response

I don't know if all your hydrangeas are the same variety or if you have an assortment. We have never recommended adding sand to a planting area. It doesn't do anything. Don't cut your hydrangeas (any of them) back now but do your trimming in the spring before they leaf out. Then don't cut them too far back or the stems will be too weak to hold up the large flowers. Also, wherever you trim a stem, it will branch out and give you two branches...more flowers. Your hydrangeas should be dropping leaves now and going into dormancy for winter. Leaving them up will catch snow and leaves which protects them from the freeze/thaw cycle during the winter. Here is some information on the various types:http://www.gardenguides.com/107874-hydrangeas-minnesota.html