I transplanted a hydrangea, now what?

craftlady07(5b/6a)April 2, 2009

I transplanted a hydrangea last weekend. we just bought our house last year and the previous owners had cut the shrub all the way back, so last year I got nice green leaves, but no flowers. (I posted a picture and more info in the gallery section) I did not cut it back this year. We tested the soil where we transplanted it to and it was very alkaline. We bought some Espoma soil scidifier (see link) to add to the soil but I don't know how much to use, should I treat this as a new plant or a well established plant?

Here is a link that might be useful: Espoma soil acidifier

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

An "established plant" would normally be my choice since they are probably trying to ask how big is the plant and its root system.

But your plant is suffering from transplant shock so I would be tempted to not use the product this year unless the plant had signs of iron chlorosis last year. If you have to, use half as much as required by the label directions (this year). And skip fertilizing this year too. Instead, use weak fertilizers like coffee grounds, liquid seaweed, etc until then end of June (approx).

Regarding this type of amendment and fertilizers, I tend to use half the amount that the manufacturer asked me to use because my soil is not in bad shape. For insecticidal products, I do not do that.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:10AM
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With all due respect to Luis, I'm going to offer a differing opinion :-)

First, if you're in PA and just moved the hydrangea, it is unlikely to be suffering from transplant shock. The plant has barely begun to emerge from dormancy and moving it at this time of year is pretty much advised, if for nothing else to AVOID any transplant shock. Provided you dug and moved it carefully and with a decent rootball intact.

The Espoma soil acidifier is just sulfur. Adding it now won't hurt and is even advised if your soil is not sufficiently acidic, as it takes time for the reaction to occur. Generally, the amount of sulfur required is determined by the area and the degree you need to alter pH, but the Espoma product is not exactly the same as using straight agricultural sulfur - their rates are considerably higher than is typical. I'd follow the instructions for an established plant.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:16PM
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