New growth falling off, Instructions please!

melaroma(6)April 18, 2010

I had my three hydrangeas caged up with chicken wire and covered with lots of leaves. I finally decided to uncover them since the temperatures are in the 75's. My Endless Summer The Original has new growth up and down the stems but they fall off if you touch them.

Here is closer look of the new Growth. Is that the right color it should be?

My Endless Summer Blushing Bride is different which surprised me. It has growth but only at the base and not on the stems, is that normal?

And the new growth is really pale and yellowish.

My other one which is a Nikko Blue has growth at the bottom only as well. Did I wait to long to remove the protection? Is the new growth going to make it? I also need to know if I should fertilize them now and what I should use. Also, should I add anything to green them up? I want to prune the stems on the Nikko and BB since they have no growth but I don't know if I should leave them be. I planted these babies in the fall except for the ES Original which I planted last Spring. Any help Would be appreciated.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, melaroma. When a hydrangea starts to leaf out while still covered with winter protection, lack of sunlight can make the new stems and the leaves have a wierd yellowish or whitish tone. Once the winter protection is removed and they get sunlight, the color returns to normal but it may take a few weeks. Since the ends of the stems will be very tender, do not touch them and feel free to provide shade earlier than normal while the plant color returns. Do not overwater or try to fertilize because of this. Maintain the soil well muched and moist.

Winter protection can be removed after the average date of last frost for your area but most people wait an extra two weeks just in case. After, who can see the future? In a few cases, Spring will be such that you can remove the protection earlier and when you don't, this happens. It is common some years and nothing to be afraid of.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:08PM
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ginkgonut(4)

Probably should have uncovered them earlier. Growth in the dark=yellow/white. For reference, I pulled back the mulch from my ES about 2 weeks ago in Minnesota with this crazy warm spring. The one I forgot about I did yesterday and looks the same as yours.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:09PM
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melaroma(6)

That's a relief to hear. Should I trim the stems that do not have growth on it or will those have growth on them later? When will I fertilize them? Thank guys!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:06PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

They could have growth eventually so leave them until mid to late May. If you just cannot wait to find out, you can prune the stems in 1-2" increments until you find "green" or reach the bottom. You can fertilize them in June. see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizing hydrangeas

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:07PM
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melaroma(6)

Thanks Luis! I cannot wait to have these blooming! Just bought an Annabell to go with them. I think I will stick to the ones that don't need winter protect from now on and baby the ones I already have. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:56PM
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