Growing hydrangeas in Nampa/Caldwell

danakc(z6 SW ID)June 29, 2007

Has anyone had any sucess growing hydrangeas in this hot area. I have one in a container(on my shaded front porch) that does well but I would like to put some in the ground.


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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Hi, danakc,

I have a couple of hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' and an oakleaf hydrangea, hydrangea quercifolia) that have been doing pretty well for a few years now. They are in a spot that gets shade from my neighbor's tree for most of the day. They get a little bit of direct sun late in the evening.

One of my friends had a mophead-type hydrangea on the north side of her house in Boise for several years. It would freeze to the ground in winter, and then grow to a nice size every summer, but it never bloomed. That's because those type of hydrangeas usually only bloom on old wood, not new growth. That might not be a problem with as mild of winters as we have been having lately, but it's worth considering. Hydrangea arborescens and hydrangea quercifolia bloom on new wood, and they seem to be pretty tough species, too . . . but they only bloom in white.

You might also consider hydrangea paniculata grandiflora (the most popular form is nicknamed "Peegee") if you have the space; I've seen some really pretty, really LARGE ones thriving around town, and this is probably the most sun-tolerant type of hydrangea.

Do you have your heart set on a pink or blue hydrangea? Some of the newer types of mop-head hydrangeas (like 'Endless Summer') do bloom on new wood as well as old, but I'm still not convinced they are as tough or heat-tolerant as the other three types of hydrangea I've mentioned. Also . . . you may already know this . . . but the blue or pink color of mophead hydrangeas is mostly established by soil PH. Since our soil in the desert is very alkaline, even the bluest hydrangeas will turn pink when planted in the ground, unless you especially treat the soil to make it acidic. I just stick with the whites!

Hope this is helpful!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 2:35AM
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danakc(z6 SW ID)


Thank-you for the information. I forgot to mention I had bought 3 Endless summer hydrangeas at Lowe's(they were marked down to $1 each) Thats how I garden, buy the plants then try to figure out what to do with them.

I may just try one plant in the ground, and put the other two in containers. If it doesn't make it I'm not out anything. The spot I picked is on the East side of the house, morning sun, afternoon shade.

My neighbor also has a hydrangea on the north side of her house. Its been there 6 years and only bloomed once, but it is a beautiful full bush.

I'll check into the other hydrangeas you mentioned. I'm trying to plan a cottage garden. Right now I'm just trying to decide what to plant.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 9:18AM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Sounds like you got a great deal on the 'Endless Summer's! Be sure to come back and report how they do in the ground for you, okay? :)

Now that it is daylight, I went out and took a photo so that you could see what my hydrangeas look like!

The one on the right is the oakleaf hydrangea. It has blooms all the way to the ground, but you can't tell because I have a short rose (out of bloom right now) growing in front of it. This hydrangea has leaves that turn a dark maroon in the fall . . . nice, but not really spectacular. Some oakleaf hydrangeas can get really big, but some forms stay smaller.

The hydrangea on the left is 'Annabelle.' It is white right now, but turns a light green by late July (see the second photo, which was taken a couple of years ago when my daughter's cousin was visiting).

Later, the blooms of both hydrangeas fade/ dry to a light tan . . . they dry well even if you leave them right on the shrub . . . so they can be collected for indoor flower arrangements if you are into that kind of thing. I'm not, so my attempts have been pretty pathetic, but you get the idea:

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 1:14PM
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