Hydrangeas are budding out

I noticed today that my hydrangeas are budding out and starting to grow. It's mid January, and we have had colder than usual weather, yet there they go. And the tulips are pushing up through the ice and mud. I don't remember them growing so early in previous years. Any hydrangea experts know when they normally will start growing? I haven't even got around to pruning them yet, didn't think they would bud out for another month or two.
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 15:25:03 -0600, Zootal

Mine are too. I no longer bury them in leaves in the fall, maybe lazyness, and they have not bloom for many years. I think the buds freeze or get eaten by deer. I still like the foliage, though. My hydrangea also got too big, nearly 6 feet across, 4 feet high.
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wrote:

We had almost a week of sub 20 degree weather. I'm not sure if I'll get any blooms or not. I didn't prune them or do anything at all, I just let them sit. We don't usually get cold weather like this, so they usually survive the winter just fine and bloom like crazy all year long.
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if you don't want flowers on your hydrangea's then prune them. The only way you can safely prune them and not sacrifice blossoms is to prune them after they bloom in the late spring or early summer. not sure where you're gardening, but here in my zone 7b climate, where we've gotten sub-zero winds and single digit temperatures last week, I too have seen buds on my variegated hydrangea. I'm not panicking. This is planted on the NORTH side of my house, and the buds seem fine. Another problem though that I see is my Korean Spice Viburnum has bloomed one cluster of buds when I wasn't aware of it before the deep freeze, as I found yesterday the remains of the partially opened bud cluster. Rats. It's planted in direct hard Eastern sunlight, which gets good Southern exposure as well as indirect western light in the front edge of the garden where we live now. I may move it before sap rises to another spot in the front yard where it won't get so much direct sunlight. The main reason I planted it was specifically for the highly fragrant flower clusters. Give your hydrangea time to wow you. Hydrangea start seriously growing once true spring hits. For me, it was in late March, mid April. And if you MUST prune, at least wait for the true leaves to show and the real dead portions of the plant to reveal itself once the leaves are out. If you go around your yard, you'll see EVERYTHING has pre-Spring buds just waiting for the real warmth to come and stay, not just false spring temperatures. Where are you gardening? That also makes a difference. madgardener seeing little green "tongues" of spring bulbs coming up as well
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wrote:

I've got tulips 2-3 inches tall. A few daffodils next to the house are 8" tall. My Lilacs have been budding since mid December. We had a week of weather in the 50's. Now it's down to the 30's. Spring is around the corner indeed, and Winter isn't even half over.
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you must deffinately be in a much warmer zone then. And if you have tulips, are these returning perennial ones or some you planted in the fall? Not all tulips are perennial, sad to say. Wow, Lilacs budding since December. I am only now thinking of cutting a few branches of the little forsythia in the front side yard to force into bloom. And I have three little crocus jars with corms on the kitchen window and this will be my first attempt at forcing a spring bulb indoors. Down to the 30's. Well for some, that is cold enough. Do you know what growing zone you're in Zoot? I'm now in zone 7b in the western part of Tennessee there abouts. a totally new experience for me, but something I look forwards to, with a relatively blank canvas to plant up over the years. this time I will take my time instead of cheek to jowl planting (not that me English husband would like a cheek to jowl effect, he likes it non symetrical, but not crammed up like I used to do my gardens of chaos. My only regrets is he never saw one season of wild abandon blooming with all the faeries in full working force. He will though, give us time. madgardener
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I'm in zone 8a. The tulips were planted several years ago, and they keep coming back year after year. We don't get a lot of sub-freezing weather. Every couple of weeks a cold snap will hit us for a few days, but it quickly warms up and resumes raining. I saw some daffodils about 6 inches tall yesterday, tulips an inch or so everywhere, but no crocuses yet. Supposedly we can plant peas and onions in February, but every time I do they just sit there in the mud until early March so I don't bother.
I just walked around my back yard and realized that only one of my lilacs had green buds on it - the other is as dormant as can be. Interesting...rhubarb is showing no signs of life. Roses are as dormant as can be. Other then a few signs of life, most everything else is quite dead.
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madgardener wrote:

I've heard they can grow quite large in the right parts of the USA - certainly larger than any I have seen in the UK. I understand that there is a photo of my mother with her head next to a hydrangea bloom as big as a basketball somewhere, though I've not seen it yet.
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Zhang Dawei: Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
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