"Annual" or florist hydrangea?

jadie88(7 MD)March 20, 2013

Greetings hydrangea geniuses! Hydrangeas have been my favorite flower for years, but I have only begun to grow them myself since we bought a house last year (my husband bought me an Annabell, a Little Lime, and an Endless Summer when we closed on the house, and all are looking great so far :)

Anyway, my question is about the hydrangeas that appeared at my local Costco. They are large and healthy-looking with those alluring blue and green blossoms...and of course the big box price of $15 is very tempting. They are marked "annual, enjoy indoors." But I have never heard of an annual hydrangea! They were grown locally, though certainly greenhoused...is marking them "annual" just a way of warning that they aren't woody shrubs ready to be planted out in the chilly springtime? If I were to keep them indoors until the weather warms up, could I eventually plant them out as a perennial? Or are these truly once and dones?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Not exactly "once only" but the industry considers them as disposable. Those non-reblooming hydrangeas are made to be stored indoors just for a little while (a few weeks let's say, while blooming) and then the plant is to be thrown away in the trash.

They probably cannot withstand very cold temperatures as other named varieties do. They m-a-y do well outside in warm zones like where you live... Zone 7. The problem is that WHO KNOWS for sure???? So try if you want but remember that the color may change if the potting mix pH differs from your soil pH. No idea if they will be more susceptible to problems like powdery mildew but one can hope they do not.

You can definitely try planting them into the ground and see if they can tolerate your winters and still bloom. In a typical year, they will produce invisible flower buds in July-August and these will open and bloom the following Spring.

I have not bought one but have seen them. Not sure how long the bloomage will last. On the first year, the blooms may be old by the time you buy the plants and will soon commence the progression of color changes that hydrangea blooms normally go thru. These will end in brownish looking blooms. At that time, you can plant them (technically, you could bring them out any time if is not too cold or too warm).

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:41PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Thanks! I figure I should approach it as a nice big spring bouquet that may have a little side bonus of sticking around. I think I'm just hungry for those beautiful blooms...the $15 would probably go farther if I put it toward a nice nursery plant. Early Spring is such a test of self-discipline, eh?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 2:46PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I hear you. This year, my Spring started around mid-January for my early blooming shrubs. However, my mid-season camellias started blooming in late Feb and are now finishing their bloomage. Weird year all right!!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:48PM
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I purchased one of these types of hydrangeas last spring. See my recent post on Easter Hydrangea.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:00PM
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