I'm a serial killer!

scarlett2001July 30, 2010

Of Hydreangeas. Just killed off my 10th plant. I know they like morning light, dappled PM light, water. Don't cut off the blooms,etc. Why can't I grow these darned things?????

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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

They hate our climate.

ps: Don't you just drool over those Oakleaf and Limelight Hydrangeas?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 11:55PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Hmm...morning sun/afternoon shade should do it...?!? Drainage okay? Plenty of water and a thick organic mulch to protect the shallow roots? Planted with a bunch of azalea mix? How far inland are you?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 1:05AM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

I use to live inland in Riverside county...had grown them 100% shade on the eastern side of my house. It was a pink variety that I got from Target, don't know the name. It grew great and flowered wonderfully. Soil was clay had slightly poor drainage but it remained constantly wet which I think it loved. I had also gotten a Nikko Blue at the same time but that one died instantly lol.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 1:21AM
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My nemesis plant is bougainvillea. Never can get the darned things to grow much.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 5:12AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Oh, hoovb, you made a liar out of me in a spectacular manner. What a wonderful plant. I have only seen them like that in coastal areas.

Dis- have you killed them by taking them out of the container and having all of the roots drop off (my technique) or by under-over watering?


    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 3:31PM
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The Napa valley could hardly be called "coastal" and hydrangea properly sited grow wonderfully easily. They are among the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings. I have them on two properties locally as foundation plantings on the east and north sides. Summer water and spent flower removal is the only care they get. Al

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 9:43AM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

I have an oakleaf hydrangea in dry shade with heavy root competition in the Central valley, with water that has a ph of 8.8. If I can do it, so can you. Try again.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:41PM
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I live 13 blocks inland from the beach and I see lots of very gorgeous hydrangeas in my neighborhood, so I know it can be done.

Lately I have lost my green thumb. I used to be a pretty confident gardener but now I lose more plants than I grow. It's weird.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 2:51AM
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bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

Scarlett2001, how did your Hydrangea die? Are they in pots or in ground?

My yard used to be desert like during summer (up to 100-120F often). Sometimes the hydrangea in the ground needs a sprinkle of water twice a day otherwise they're cooked. This year it's been cool and they're getting water twice a week. So water does make a big difference to them.

The hydrangea I keep in the pots on the patio (partial shade) used to get twice a day watering during summer. Anything less their leaves dried up and they died.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 2:13PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Scarlett, sometimes it's just stuff beyond your control. This summer I noticed that my whole flower bed is infested with root knot nematodes, and plants that have always done well are now dying. In another bed, which was PERFECT last year, the Showbiz roses are getting smaller and burning up although it's not hot (maybe mosaic virus?). I had a large number of new (and expensive) irises rot. All of my vincas seem doomed to some sort of deadly wilt. And my potager? Don't ask. The veggies do much better OUSIDE of the amended beds than they do INSIDE the carefully amended beds. I didn't consider the fact that well-amended soil drains like sand, and my water bill has skyrocketed.

You are still a really good gardener, it's just that Nature finds a way to thwart us at every turn.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:41PM
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They just seem to act as though I don't water them at all when I do. Droop, droop, dry up. I really thought I had a good shot at it this year because it has been so cool.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 3:04AM
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surfcityhb(10, Sunset 24)

Me, too! Can grow 'em to save my life. My mother had one that she neglected completely (except to whack it back once a year)and it was beautiful. Me? I'm hydrangea repellent, it seems.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:09AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Hydrangeas need to be purchased at good nursery, not the supermarket, not Target. The should be outdoors when you buy them. The soil should be very prepared before planting. Dig a huge hole much bigger the the root ball, add a lot of organic material to the soil. Water frequently for the first two weeks to get past transplant shock. Then cut back on water to 2 or three times a week, unless it is very hot and the soil is draining very fast. Then water everyday.

Some people say they can get the grocery stores ones to grow, but I have not found that it work. Also if you go to a nursery and they have hydrangea in a green house and they have forced bloomed them to make them look pretty for Easter. They are meant to die right after Easter. People spend a lot on cut flowers, and this is no different. They just have roots on the cut flowers.

I have had small ones work, but they should be outside when you buy them. Big ones are much easier, so you may want to start with a big one. I also went through a lot of grocery store hydrangeas until I figured it out. Forced blooming is bad for the plant.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:43PM
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Wow, Tropical, that is the type of advice I was seeking. Do you recommend any special type that is easiest to grow?I don't care about the color.

And is it ok to cut off the dead stuff in case the roots are still viable?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 6:09PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

I have one growing on the north side of the house in rich clay soil to which I added a lot of amendment at planting time. It seems to be thriving with regular sprinkler water and sun until about noon (in summer) and total (bright) shade in winter.

My mom grows them in dappled shade in her amended sandy soil.

Both of us live in Sunset zone 19.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 1:17AM
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Here in Long Beach, I can only grow them on the North side of my house. They get no direct sunlight in the winter and in the summer, half of the plant gets sun, but the roots never do. Gross clay soils here. I grow Annabelle (like limelight). Sorry this pic is pretty ugly- I didn't prune them last year and they are kind of all over the place. It is also the tail end of their bloom. Some of them turn brown, and some stay green and dry that way- they make great dried flowers. In June & July, the plant is covered with white and lime green pom poms. There is an Oakleaf Hydrangea in the background, against a fence. Some nice dead Alstroemeria stalks too :-0

So- it can be done!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 2:10PM
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Chrissystar, I'm also in L.B. Well, sort of between L.B. and Seal Beach. Mine are also on thre North side,so maybe that will do it.

Aren't we in Sunset zone 24?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 1:41AM
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Let's see if i can show you mine,i have these pictures posted on the cottage garden forum.

The majority of mine are on the west side of my house,all those big beautiful pinks,blues,lacecaps etc.Then i have a few in the front(north side) and while they do bloom good,they are not as prolific as the west side ones.

Also all of mine were planted without all the things that tropical said should be done.No Offense Tropical,but when i started these some 38 years ago,i was young and knew nothing about them or planting either for that matter.My son had given me the first one for mothers day when he was 13,he's now almost 51,and they bloom like this every year.I'm along the coast in Oceanside.

Every year i whack them back,and these are the results.Mine thrive on neglect!!!!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Doh!- yes Scarlett we are in zone 24 :-)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 12:08AM
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