Hydrangea ???

ditasMarch 29, 2007

I was very recently bitten by the Hydrangea bug ... have for the first time last season, been reading and asking ??? in the Hydrangea Forum (many threads I read are of different zones that do not always apply to our specific Z and conditions - however, have learned so much from and am quite GRATEFUL.

Only Ironbelly responded to ?? I posted here last season. I wonder if anyone else would be interested in comparing notes and experiences? HD, Lowes and other garden centers now, have been carrying such age-old garden beauties. I planted, recommended hardy ones, this past 2 seasons and would like to expand.

I own a 16y/o (Mom's Day -florist) Nikko, that bloomed only intermitently & scantily with no serious over-wintering efforts. Jury is still out on this past Winter's efforts - she will be kept wrapped for a while longer this Spring and verdict will come down in late Spring ... I'm keeping my fngrs xx'd

Will appreciate responses from our area!

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I'm 5a: If I was you, I'd rip out Nikko, and replace it with Endless Summer or the new Blushing Bride, which supposedly reblooms faster than ES (obviously no personal experience with BB, since it's new this year). ES has done fine here; no protection, dies to the ground, blooms fine in the spring; fall is iffy... it usually just starts blooming when the first freeze is due. If I watered and fertilized it better, it might have better and quicker fall reblooming. The popular conception (and my initial observation) was that ES is kind of weak-stemmed, and wilts easily in hot weather (much more so than Nikko), but I think part of this is that ES takes longer to get established; I had very little wilting or flopping this last summer, in spite of our brutal, dry weather. I just planted a couple of the Forever and Ever hydrangeas from Lowe's last summer, so can't say much about them yet; they do appear to be shorter, stouter, and not as prone to wilting when compared to ES. Keep your Nikko only if you like it as a foliage plant (I ripped mine out). Dunno if that is of any help to you.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 1:05AM
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Hi Don - appreciate your response and hope that others will come and join us as Spring progresses! I planted a pair of ES and a pair of F&E last May - had to relocate them all in June to less sunny sites - as you noted too, they did react to too much sun. I noticed that F&E took a bit longer to establish (though in different sites with similar sun exposures). The ES were relocated to a W exposure but shaded during the hottest X of day - the buds that were just starting at purchase, had opened nicely, just a few. To my delight, by Sept. buds formed once more, a few more than the first X! The blooms held well even with some frosty nites by Nov & even Dec (Winter came in lazily as you know). I mulched a bit after the hard freeze - left the drying blooms for added protection. Those 2 ES are the more aggressive at leaffing out of the 4 - old wood as well as from the ground. F&E are just now displaying pea-size leafbuds on their old wood (no signs from the ground yet) oh & only 1 of 2 rebloomed in the Fall - just a couple.

After reading overwintering tutorial from the H Forum last season - I made the extra efforts last Fall on my dear old Nikko ( tied her woods with nylon hoses, wrapped her in 2 layers of burlap & encaged her w/ pine needles around topped her head with a rose cone... you may call me nuts!!!) will report any rewards later.

I have five other H - marginally-bloom-tenders that will remain encaged (less insanely) 'til frost safe, perhaps early May, I guess.

Again thanks for renponding ... 'hope to read your thoughts again!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:34PM
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grammahony(ECentral NEz5)

Hi Ditas, or anyone who could help me. I'm here (the forum) visiting from Nebraska. I also have a Nikko Blue, and an All Summer Beauty. I cover and wrap them both each winter. All Summer Beauty, has done nothing in 3 years, and this year I see no blooms on it again. My Nikko has pleased me until this year. But I don't think it stayed covered this winter, while I was in AZ. Then too, we had a late freeze. I think that is it's main problem.
Now, I've purchased a Blushing Bride. I should get blooms not matter what kind of winter I have, or if it stays covered or not.
My main question is, I'm thinking of putting it in my berm, which is encircled by some concrete landscaping blocks, and under a River Birch tree. There's plenty of shade from the house on the East.
Easier to post a picture.

Do you think this is a good spot?
Soil is mainly clay. I've bought a bag of compost and manure, and have a bucket of sandy loam. Should I mix these and along with some of the clay soil, and fill in the hole, as I plant it?
How much of each would be good? I don't want to burn the Blushing Bride.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:59AM
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grammahony(ECentral NEz5)

I should add, a sprinkler head hits this spot real well, so no problem with watering enough.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Hi Leslie - Sorry for not responding for a while - just returned for a month long visit to NC where all of my son's Hydrangeas are in full bloom already (drool ... drool)!

What a beautiful paisley-shaped, island-patch - would be a great site for a lacecap H that loves some shade. I thought that Blushing Bride likes sun ... I have no experience with her though. I'm still looking for Angel's Blush no one has her around.

All of my marginally tender Lacecaps survived the late frost we all got and are now full of buds and some have opened up - though a few blooms burned from the dry & extreme heat those few days before I got home. Even my 17-year old, florist Mom's Day-Nikko for the first time since the kids gave it to me is full of bud clusters and a few have opened to 8" lavender pink blooms - I'm so tickled ... and grateful to the Over-Wintering advices I received from the experienced afficionados of Hydrangea in this H forums!

I hope your Blushing Bride H is by now, doing well in her site!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:01AM
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prairiegal(4/5 NW Iowa)

I've had an Endless Summer for about three years and it blooms faithfully each summer, despite being in fairly heavy shade. I forget to "blue-ify" it, usually, but the pink blooms are nice, too.

Annabelle is growing rapidly and was covered with blooms this summer, despite being in a (currently) neglected part of the yard.

What really surprised me was a nice bloom show on a lovely blue lacecap variety (sorry; I've forgotten the name) because it's really not supposed to be hardy in my zone (I'm on the cusp of 4/5), and blooms on old wood.

This year I've planted a 'Limelight' which just burst into bloom and is still going strong, a 'Snowflake' oak-leaved hydrangea (not much action, there; still recovering from being shipped bare root in late spring, I guess) and I'm currently this week planting 'Little Lamb' and 'Quickfire.'

I'll try to fill you in on how those do, next spring. I'm in a pretty darned windy location (even for IOWA) on the Bufflo Ridge (we're the source of all that wind-generated power from Mid American Energy, here in Cherokee and Buena Vista counties), so I'm surprised the Zone 5 plants did so well.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Good Am to all Iowa & NE Hydrangea enthusiasts!

'Tis busy time prepping for 'Overwintering' our marginally bloom tender beauties, right?!

Don (Hawki) - Unlike Prairiegal, I'm a bit disappointed with my ES and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful results of my 'overwintering' efforts on my old Nikko - her huge blooms are now drying for a nice wreath I plan to turn them into!

Leslie - how did your BB H do with all the amendments you have done in your lovely berm bed? I just treated myself with a gorgeous BB last July (pricey but worth!!!) - quite a great pleaser this first season in a part-shade exposure. I kept her in her original container for a month while we gave a nice face-lift (so-to-speak)on the top tier of a retaining wall & studied the sun exposure in this site for her. Since setting in the ground, she responded even more beautifully with a great, ephemeral show of more new buds and lovely, maturing colors of lavender, to light magenta & finally to deep magenta - no matter that my BB's early blooms were gentle, powdery blue - we have clipped a few to bring in and she just branched out and produced more <:- i intend to protect her this winter save the many fat buds she has and still producing ... tryly a great winner sure you be quite pleased with yours>Prairiegal - I'll relocate my 2 ESs as they were quite a disappointment this 2nd season for me. They did suffer from the late/2wk freeze, we got hit in April - could be the reason. The Little Elf planted between them barely survived - I'll dig up and containerize in Spring. New acquisition in 2007: Alice OH, Midnight Duchess (Lacecap) no blooms since planting but lots of growth; Quick Fire, in bloom but no new show since planting either and BB H (the Wondergirl!). This H addiction in just as creepling ... 2wks ago Pink Diamond got me!!! I'm keeping her in her container sank & mulched in another much larger one in a hole prepared for another shade-lacecap (hopefully, Jogasaki or Claudie) in 2008. With fingers crossed, PD should fare OK.

Now, your turn to update - eager to read of your 2007 season with Hs!!!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 12:27PM
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That freeze pretty well wiped out everybody's ES blooms for this summer... that is the single worst spring freeze I've seen in thirty years of gardening; hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 3:20PM
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Hi Don - It was indeed I lost a few perennials ... the only upside of that severe and prolonged freeze of Spring '07 is the freedom from the stinky Gingko fruits to rake this past week! My old handsome Gingko was barely slipping into his majestic, golden cloak when Mother Nature blasted ...'drop it' overnight the golden cloak was piled neatly around his feet!!!

I still think that my ES may need a bit more sun than they got, as part of the reason for 0 bloom on 1 and a smallish 1, on the other. The Forever & Ever did much better with huge blooms and I too, observed the sturdier, more upright nature than ES.

All my Hs, except for Alice OH, were brought down to their knees, when Mother Nature lashed out with her strong winds that brought daytime temps to below freezing, for a couple of days last week <:->BB held her own for a while longer before succumbing to the cold, which makes me feel that she will be quite promising and able to take the jolts of nature, in our area, a bit better. However, I intend to protect her some, this first Winter in the ground.

Another new acquisition last Summer that held out a while, before recoiling from the blustery cold winds, is a Lace Cap called Midnight Duchess - a good sign I thought. Altho didn't bloom this first season, lived up to the description of compact, sturdy habits with quite impressive shiny dark green foliage and purple-black stems. She is full of nice fat buds for next season and have installed her wire corral for more serious protection in a week or 2.

I'll take advantage of these couple of warmer & sunny days to apply 'Wilt Stop' on all the marginally bloom tender Hs with fat buds formed, this season.

'Hope to hear from more H enthusiasts in this forum to learn from & compare notes.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:24PM
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Good morning everyone - 'Just wondering how your Hydrangeas responded to the early, wake-up-call of Spring, after one snowy Winter sleep?

I learned another lesson ... "Coming Out Party" (uncovering the bloom tenders) should never be before the 1st week of May unless you enjoy running out to cover back up, for every overnight, frost warning (some fat leaf buds got frost bitten, in spite of cover ups)! Last year I followed our Iowa rule-of-thumb (Mom's Day) & got rewarded ... this year I got lured by our, end of April's, beautiful welcome to Spring ... (never again) consequently, progress seems a bit slower!!! But then again, the beauty, of the ephemeral nature, of gardening, right?!!!

'Hoping to read, of your beauties! :-)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:09AM
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