Hydrangea or alternative to plant in north facing landscape

PghDave(6B)May 16, 2013

Looking for some help with choosing a flowering shrub to finish my landscape here... The spot where the rocks are is where I am looking to plant. It gets direct sun until about 10:00a.m. Will that be enough for a hydrangea to do well in my area (Pgh,PA)? If so, do some varieties do better with less direct sun? Are there any other favorite flowering shrubs that do well in partial shade you might recommend?

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Yes, that should be fine and enough to produce good bloomage. I grow some hydrangeas on the north side with no direct sun; the area around the plants is brightly lit by the sun though so, I would say my shaded area has a "bright" shade.

The space on the picture may be tight for many hydrangeas though. But it hard to tell the dimensions from the picture.

Measure how wide can the plant be without touching the existing shrubbery but assume the existing shrubbery has reached their mature sizes. For example, if those shrubs will get 1 feet wide when mature and that shrinks the available space down to 3 feet, look for hydrangeas that get no wider than 3' when mature.

You usually want the hydrangea's width to fit in the planting space with some leeway... some separation between the hydrangea and the other plants. This improves the air flow between plants and minimizes fungal infections on the leaves.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:38PM
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There's about 4.5-5' from the house. Any favorite varieties that I could try? I put a Glowing Embers in my back yard that seems happy. It has 10 or so buds.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

I'd throw an ES, Penny Mac, or David Ramsey there. A Nikko would also do well against a building but may grow past the window...

I have ES against an addition room that's just as wide as the wall in your pic with two windows in the exact same spots, all facing north. They do great there!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:12PM
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A rebloomer would "change" things as new blooms appear and old ones are deadheaded.

Just wondering... how many sets of blooms for a complete growing season do you guys get from rebloomers in PA? One around late May maybe? Plus how many more? Two more?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:41PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

I'd say two cycles total, in most cases. Late May would be right, then anywhere from July-Sept. depending on how much rain, etc. Right now everything in my yard has up to 1" florets, but nothing larger. So it will probably be June before any actual color is seen.

Garaged pots did break dormancy in March, and they're just starting to bloom now.

Imagine there'd be three cycles, if everything broke dormancy in March, got plenty of rain, and encountered no other adverse conditions through October...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:29PM
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Penny Mac in. Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Looks good! My PM is right on the northeast corner as well - didn't suffer much dieback and there are tons of buds on old and new wood. That one there will likely bloom a second time once you cut the spent ones off in a month or so. Congrats...

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 8:39PM
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