Hydrangeas from Lowe's

sdroneMarch 7, 2007

I noticed Lowe's already has flowers, etc. out. I had considered planting some hydrangeas this year since they're relatively tall and wide and colorful.

I didn't write down the name of this hybrid - do you think this flower from Lowe's would be particularly worse than this flower from a local nursery or an online nursery?

I also wonder about those flowers sitting in the store a month before anyone purchases them; I assume I should wait until it warms up a bit before planting these? Does it do any good to get them now and start them inside the house?

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gardengal48

Are these hydrangeas already in flower? If so, these are florist's or greenhouse hydrangeas, forced into bloom and in your climate, should be considered a short-lived houseplant only.

Since it is too early here in zone 8 to plant much of anything but hardy perennials, trees and shrubs, it only stands to reason it is much too early in the Chicago area to do the same. I'd assume your soil is even still frozen. And unless you have ideal growing conditions - a bright sunroom or properly heated greenhouse - plants/flowers intended to be planted and grown outdoors have a very difficult time surviving in the uncomfortable (for them) conditions inside a house.

Why Lowe's and others of the same ilk teases folks in colder climates with unseasonal offerings this early is a bit of a mystery - even in my area they offer cold sensitive annuals well before the last frost date. Save your money - be strong!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:26PM
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sdrone

They're not in flower. They are basically a stem/root in a box.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:44AM
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gardengal48

Personally, I think you'd be better off waiting and getting a more established plant from a reputable nursery. A "stem/root in a box" sounds a little skimpy to me and is most likely some sort of bare root offering. While you can get some good values purchasing small bare root shrubs, they do require some specialized attention and without it, their chance of survival is not good. And since it is probably too early in your area to consider planting directly outside, it may be wiser just to wait until larger, more developed shrubs are in at the nurseries and select from one of those. You will get flowers sooner on a more mature plant, as well.

If you've never grown hydrangeas before, you may want to read up on their care and which ones would be the most suitable for your area in the meantime. Read through the FAQ's at the attached link - they're very helpful for general hydrangea information.

Here is a link that might be useful: all you need to know about hydrangeas

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:29AM
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vickysgarden

I am also from the Chicagoland area...if you go back to Lowe's, I would be interested in knowing what kind of hydrangea this is, if it is a named variety...I have never seen a bare-root one in a box before, and might be curious to purchase if the price is right.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 9:31AM
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sdrone

It'll be a few days before I'm at Lowe's, but I'll try to get a name. The box had a name, but I don't know how well known it would be.

Thanks for the FAQ link; I don't have any "morning sun, afternoon shade" spots, but I do have some full sun spots and a big spot that's pretty shady. I'd love to have some kind of tall flowering plant there. The more I read the more it looks like hydrangeas wouldn't be a great shade plant, but I definitely want to plant a couple in the sun.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:59AM
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yellowgirl(z9aOrlandoFL)

sdrone,

Why not try Hydrangea arborescens "Annabelle"? It is a big white (ish) mophead that is well suited to your neck of the woods. Blooms on new growth, so you won't have to worry about winter protection, and based on other posts on this site, it tolorates and blooms well in a great deal of shade. Not only will it give you that traditionally beautiful hydrangea look, it would be a much more "worry free" plant for you. Just a suggestion.....yg

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 2:46PM
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sdrone

I think that's the hybrid mentioned in this thick book my mom gave me.

It does sound like it's suited to cold weather.

I'm trying to do red and white in the yard (I had planned on mostly roses), so this would work. I can get 3 or 4 and put 1 or 2 in shade and 1 or 2 out in the sun.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 6:06PM
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karen_w(5 MI)

Limelight grows well in my Grand Rapids MI garden in full sun.
It also fits with your color scheme because it's (greenish) white until cool weather in the fall, then it blushes pink.
It's not hard to grow. Doesn't droop like a diva unless the ground is REALLY dry and has interesting, pyramid-shaped blooms. Mine gets 6 feet tall. I love it (and Annabelle).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 9:55AM
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sdrone

Cool - what do you do with it in winter? Leave it alone, or trim it down?

I haven't found either of those anywhere online, so I'll probably be checking local nurseries in a few weeks.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 12:27PM
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karen_w(5 MI)

It winters over just fine with no protection. I just leave it alone in the spring. Last spring, my husband mistook it for another plant and cut it down to 6 inches.
Didn't faze the plant a bit. Sprang back up to its normal height and bloomed its butt off.
It's not a diva. K.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 9:25AM
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sdrone

I dropped by Lowe's today. They're all "Hortensia" and in the following colors:

Nikko Blue
Alpen Glow (red)
Creamy White
Forest pink (I think it was forest)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 1:32PM
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vickysgarden

Thanks so much for checking and posting this! I live a bit of a drive from Lowe's so appreciate your looking again for the names!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 4:18PM
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sdrone

I was at Costco today, and they had blooming hydrangeas in 8" pots. I forget the price. I didn't get any thanks to the advice in this thread.

I did pick up some astilbe bulbs; I've got a really shady spot I want to try those.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 5:35PM
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