Details on different cultivators please!

Mari_88(7a)May 1, 2012

What are some tried and true reblooming cultivators? I dont think im interested in any of the older varieties, but I dont know much about them either. The spot I have in mind seems to be mostly shade until late afternoon, then it is direct sun until dusk. Is this late afternoon still too much? I planted some azaleas in this location a few weeks ago and they seem to be doing ok, lots of new stems and leaves. What happens to a hydrangea that gets a little too much sun? I love the Endless Summer i have and i would like to try my hand at some other types, but just not sure what to choose for my yard. Thanks in advance!

PS

Im in western north carolina which i believe is z7b if that helps answer my questions

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gardengal48

I believe you mean "cultivar" (short for cultivated variety) - a cultivator is a tool :-)

For someone living in a very munificent hydrangea growing zone, I'm not at all sure you need to be focusing on remontant or so-called reblooming varieties - pretty much ANY hydrangea will do well in a zone 7b climate.

'Reblooming' varieties like Endless Summer were bred to be particularly hardy and floriferous in the colder parts of the country or where hydrangeas must be protected from winter cold to produce any flowers. If the flower buds generating from old wood - like that of the vast majority of macrophyllas - are cold damaged, the ability of the plant to produce flowers that season from new growth guarantees a flower show! In warmer climates, that need to produce flowers from new growth is not critical - pretty much any macrophylla will produce a long season of bloom without the need for all that winter fuss and bother. "Reblooming" is rather a misleading term - these are not really reblooming hydrangeas but plants that have the abilty to set flower buds on both old (last season's) and new growth. FWIW, there are a number of older cultivars that under certain climate conditions will do exactly the same thing.

With all that said, I would encourage you not to dismiss any of the "older" cultivars out of hand without investigating them first. Many of them offer coloring, flowerhead size and form and even foliage attributes that the newer "reblooming" varieties lack. They may have been around for years but with good reason - newer is not necessarily better :-)

I'd encourage you to locate a copy of Michael Dirr's Hydrangeas for American Gardens. Dirr is the recognized American hydrangea guru and the new rebloomers like ES are due almost entirely to his pioneering breeding efforts.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Mari_88(7a)

Gardengal,

I cant believe i put cultivator in the title! Thank you for the correction. So it sounds like my zone is pretty good for growing hydrangeas. I would need cultivars that grow to a medium height and width but I am willing to do some pruning...I dont have a color preference, i just prefer something less difficult to grow seeing as im a complete novice. My ultimate goal is a mixed border in the back of my yard. Any advice on tried and true beauties in your gardens? Oh the area gets dappled shade until mid afternoon then its direct sun until dusk. I know hydrangeas like the opposite but i was hoping that the later afternoon sun is weak enough to do the trick. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:14PM
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gardengal48

Actually, late afternoon sun tends to be stronger than early day sun but as long as the amount is limited and the plants get adequate water, I think you are fine.

I'll share some of my favorites but be aware that pink is just not my color - someone else will have to give suggestions for those :-)

Mopheads: Mme. Emile Moulliere, Enziandom (aka Gentian Dome), Hamburg, Domotoi.
Lacecaps: Mariesii Variegata, Blue Wave, Lilacina, Lanarth White, Quadricolor, Fuji Waterfall, Twist 'n Shout (my only concession to the Endless Summer hype and a well-deserved one at that!).
Any oakleaf (Hydrangea quercifolia) and nearly any paniculata......but I don't care for any of the arborescens types (Annabelle, etc.)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Mari_88(7a)

Thank you! I will look some of those up...i am going to observe the spot i have in mind a little longer, just to be sure the plants wont get too much sun. I will have to find something else if it does. And possibly move the azaleas i planted there.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:50PM
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Mari_88(7a)

Gardengal,

I cant believe i put cultivator in the title! Thank you for the correction. So it sounds like my zone is pretty good for growing hydrangeas. I would need cultivars that grow to a medium height and width but I am willing to do some pruning...I dont have a color preference, i just prefer something less difficult to grow seeing as im a complete novice. My ultimate goal is a mixed border in the back of my yard. Any advice on tried and true beauties in your gardens? Oh the area gets dappled shade until mid afternoon then its direct sun until dusk. I know hydrangeas like the opposite but i was hoping that the later afternoon sun is weak enough to do the trick. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

The key thing about zone 7 is that you will likely get the maximum shrub size out of each cultivar. That plus no bud kill will yield so many flowers that you might not see much foliage at certain times! This is what many imagine but few actually get. There are many cultivars that will rebloom after you prune them. Just don't buy anything that doesn't say "reblooming" or "flowers old and new wood" and you should be safe.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:27PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Twist n Shout Hydrangea is great and it does bloom twice a year here...There are some of these that rebloom.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:06AM
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Mari_88(7a)

Okay another question to help me choose which hydrangeas too add...what is different about the Anabelle cultivars?

Im not sure why my reply to gardengal posted twice..is there anyway to edit the thread so i can delete the duplicate post?

When does Twist and Shout bloom? I would like to have the border made up of plants that bloom at different times all season. I think the azaleas will cover early spring but what next?

Thanks everyone!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:10AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

mari, the macrophyllas (mopheads) bloom during the first half of summer (and like shade); the paniculatas bloom during the second half of summer (and like sunlight). The arborescens like Annabelle bloom pretty much all summer, though are fresher and more attractive during the first half of summer. I adore my Annabelle--much more reliable than the macrophyllas--though possibly you won't have trouble with them in your zone. (Mine is Zone 6). Annabelle can take more sun than the macrophyllas, but appreciates dappled sun/shade or some partial shade, especially late in the afternoon.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:12AM
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gardengal48

It is surely a matter of personal preference but I think the overly large, blousey heads of the Annabelle types are unattractive (you'll notice I list more lacecaps than mopheads too :-)) Plus I find their stems typically too weak to support the immense flowers well and even in my very mild summer climate, these are not the slightest bit more sun tolerant than the macs. They wilt rapidly in much sun.

When these plants bloom is also a matter of location - earlier in the more southern locations, later in more northerly regions, even zone 8 northern regions! In my climate, the individual flowers on any type of hydrangea last for a very long time so there is always the effect of the plants being in bloom all summer long.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Mari_88(7a)

Thanks everyone! I am going to look around town this weekend and see what cultivars are available locally. Any suggestions for mail order nurseries in case i am faced with a limited selection?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:17PM
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