Confused about Hydrangeas and Sun needs

jennied0212(7)April 20, 2006


I inherited two large, successful hydrangea plants from the previous owners of my house. They are in almost full sun, with a little morning shade. I thought I now knew enough to grow hydrangeas.

I went out and bought two more hydrangeas ("Endless Summer", Craven's nursery) to plant near them and they are not doing so well in the heat of the afternoons.

NOW, a little late, I've started researching hydrangea needs and find to my shock that they are not a full sun plant. I am wondering if there is something special about the variety I inherited, (and of course, I don't know the name) which makes it sun-tolerant.

The old plants are quite woody and send new growth off the woody stems. They thrive on neglect, never watered, never fertilized. I've seen plants that look the same in other yards here in Northern VA.

I realize it's asking alot to identify a plant just from this description. But thought I'd throw this out there. Do you think I have a sun tolerant variety or should I expect the new ones to eventually get used to their new home?


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You must first describe the blooms on the old plants. Are they round mopheads that turn pink or blue? Round mopheads that stay greenish white? Panicle shaped creamy white? Some varieties can handle, even like, full sun. There are also some types of viburnum that mimic the look of hydrangeas.

Endless Summer is a macrophylla type that may not tolorate full sun and certainly won't tolerate full sun coupled with neglect. They will need frequent watering. Also, keep in mind that it is NEW and therefore doesn't have established roots capable of delivering prolonged moisture to the plant. Having said that, let me also say that all macrophyllas, established or not, can wilt in the heat of the day only to rebound after they cool off and no amount of water will change that. They will not however, rebound from sunburned blooms and leaves. That is why it is best to plant this type in morning sun and afternoon shade or all day dappled sun/shade. I think you are in for an uphill battle if you plant the ES in this spot.....yg

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 11:11AM
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yellowgirl, thank you so much for the reply. I am not sure how to answer the (ver sensible) questions you pose, I don't recall the blooms well enough. Thank you for the info, it is very helpful! Jennifer

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 5:35PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

Those large plants may have been started in shade and then the trees chopped down, or some other change occurred after they were well established. YG's answer hinted at that, but I thought I'd lay out that possiblity. Do you see them in someone's yard that you know well enough to ask them about it? I often check out advice from places away from here, by asking about it on my regional forum. So, if you can get local advice about them, that would be unbeatable.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 2:27PM
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