The little Homigos that could!

pixiesmamaJune 28, 2006

I picked up these "Kaleidoscope" Homigo hydrangeas at Lowe's a few months ago. I bough them because they're supposed to change to cherry red in the Autumn. Well, they're in full bloom now and I must say that these little plants are really proficient bloomers! These came in 2 gallon pots I think and they're literally covered in blooms! Each plant has approximately 15 blooms and the bloom coming from the central stalk on one of them is just HUGE. HUGE HUGE. I am so happy with these plants so far; I hope they continue to bloom as well in future years.

And I will be amending the soil, because I really prefer blue blooms. Should I do that now, for next year?

Doesn't quite show scale well because I was holding my hand up too high, which makes the bloom look smaller than it really is. This thing is HUGE ~ easily 10" across!

Bad lighting on this one...

Thanks for looking! ;)


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Very nice!! Congrats.....and yes you can start now before new buds are formed but you will have to continue indefinitely if your soil is not naturally acidic.....yg

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 10:44AM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Beautiful blooms! I too prefer blue, but that's almost to pretty ro change. Nice ring, too. =D

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 1:56PM
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duh. I never thought about having to do it every year. Okay, well I'll plan to do it now for next year and then we'll hope I get around to it every year thereafter. LOL At least I know they're going to be pretty no matter what color they are! :)


    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 10:21PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

Megan, I'm also growing H. 'Homigo'. Like you, I find them to be amazing. The flowers are just huge. I purchased mine from QVC as 4" rooted cuttings and they are now 3' tall & grown together into a long hedge (I purchased two sets from QVC). They bloom on new wood so I don't worry about winter protection. I don't understand why these are so hard to find at nursery centers. Mine do turn colors but took longer than I had expected. They held amazingly well though...still being cherry red into October. I've got moist, acidic soil & I mulch the hedge with 4-5" of leaf mold/composted manure every spring. I love these hydrangeas & haven't been tempted by ES...I think I paid something like $19.99 for each set of 4 plants.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 1:19PM
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I don't have a Homigo, but have a Hobelle, from the same series of color changing hydrangeas.
Homigo and Hobelle are the only hydrangeas from the Hovaria series that were currently available in US under 'Kaleidoscope' TM label.
Unfortunately for creators of those gorgeous hydrangeas they signed exclusive distribution agreement with Spring Hill Nurseries.
Considering the reputation of SHN and its offsprings I wouldn't believe in any picture or word they put in their catalogues and wouldn't buy it for any money.

I simply got lucky when very nice lady from the colder end of z6 offered me her two Hobelles for good home since for 3 years she got them she saw one and only bloom on one of them.
Quote from Hovaria,
'Most Hydrangeas are hardy. [where, in Holland?] This means that the branches and the buds that still are not opened will not be killed by frostbite.....Vulnerable to early frost in spring are the young opened buds. Most Hydrangeas have their buds sprouted in early spring so they can be caught by night-frost and be frostbitten. So it will be right to cover the buds if frost is forecasted for that night. By this covering during cold nights there will be a richer flowering in summer....Because some of the colour changing Hovaria® Hydrangeas have a very easy budding, it will be possible that, after buds are frostbitten, new buds will grow and these will even flower the very same year, although later. '
Don't forget, it was written in Holland where the AVERAGE MINIMUM temperature for the months of Dec-March is around -1C i.e. 30F.
Maybe it's fully bud hardy for Tricia in z7, but I have a very high doubts it will be fully hardy for pixiesmama in z5, IN.
Not to pee on your parade, mam, just a word of caution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hovaria

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 8:58PM
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Well doesn't that just suck? LOL So you think that even with great to care to overwintering (although already in the ground), I have little luck with still having plants next year? Please do tell more. I'm rather at a loss for what to do... Dig them up and overwinter them in the garage? Or will that not even work? Basement? I have an unheated "Michigan" basement in a 100 year old+ house. Would that do it?

Any advice is appreiciated. I do love these plants and would of course like to try to save them. Sucky part is, I gave two as gifts this year. :(


    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 10:27PM
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Meagan, I'm in a much warmer climate than you are and MOST' hydrangeas are really hardy for me.
Even though, when I got my hands on something that is marginally hardy or questionable, I grow them for the full first season in a pot to see if they are worth the trouble to overwinter. If so, those pots going into my equivalent of the cold frame (dark cold basement should do too, I think) where i give them some water (or shovel of snow) couple of times over the whole winter. In spring after re-acclimatisation to outdoor conditions they either go into ground or stay in a pots for another season.
Alternatively, you could keep potted hydrangea in a house for the whole winter (it may even develop some flowers in March-April), but it has to be well lit space and plant would need constant watering AND misting. IMO, not worth the trouble.
For those who doesn't have a luxury of cold frames, hayseedman explained in details how he overwintered his collection of hydrangeas. You may want to search this forum and find his post(s) on a subject.
I overwintered my Hobelle in a pot and it's how she's looking right now. It's about 4x3' in 25G pot.

One more thing, you said you bought your plant 'a few months ago' (April-May?) which means that little plant was forced into bloom by grower who doesn't care about roots and stems development and just making it presentable.
Not trying to be overly negative or pessimistic I would strongly recommend to dig it out in a fall and overwinter by any means you choose if you are truly determined to keep it. That would give you another guaranteed season of blooms and another season of roots development for the plant. Then you'll decide of what to do, plant it in a ground or continue to keep in a pot.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 11:21PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

George, are you saying that the buds on this year's wood might be frost killed? I didn't really understand the wording from the grower...?

Mine die back almost to the ground over winter. They were planted as 4" cuttings from QVC (Springhill) in May '04. This past winter I had live growth from the previous season. I cut them all to the ground anyway back in April. They've regrown from the crown and are now in full bud. They're slower than last year but I think it's because we've just not had any sunshine/warmth this season yet & way too much rain.

So, again...are you saying I've just been lucky that they're blooming on new wood? I really like these hydrangeas. Last summer, they were just awesome & I expect the same this year based on the bud count out there now.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 8:36AM
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Tricia, if in your z7 it 'die back almost to the ground over winter' you could easily imagine what would happen in z5, IN.
It's root hardy (for z6/7) and have an ability to regrow from the base, but would they be root hardy in z5?
I don't know the answer, but if it would be me living in z5 I'd consider it as a tender shrub and go a long way to protect it if I like the plant.
Not going further in discussion of what grower said or not said, and what of it will be true or not, I could only tell that because I have two Hobelle I put one in a ground (actually I splitted it in two pieces and now have three) in a very protected spot by the wall and will keep another as a potted plant in order not to lose this beauty.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:46AM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

I certainly agree that 'Homigo' will winter kill all top growth in Z5. But, like 'Endless Summer', even though I don't get the early flowers from old wood the new current's season's growth produces beautiful & huge flowers in July. So, I guess my thought process was that this hydrangea would perform the same in Z5 as my zone for the current year's growth/buds? If I'm understanding correctly, you're saying that early in the bud's formation process (say, early May in my garden)...if we get a late, hard freeze...the buds newly forming on this year's wood might be lost also. Geez, I've got too many of them to put them all in pots. Now, I'm going to be paranoid until we clear the last frost dates (this year, my last freeze here was on April 11)...could easily have been a month later though.

In any event, my 'Homigos' have tons of buds & I'm looking forward to the flowers.

Question it possible that because I planted mine as baby, barely rooted cuttings...they have adapted better to my local environment? I've been feeling like I had a better 'Endless Summer' in these 'Homigo' guys & don't like the idea that maybe it's just been dumb luck!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 12:48PM
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lerissa(z6b Philly)

I have a Homigo, planted third year now, big shrub with only two flowers. Old woods get killed every winter. Last year with only one flower. This is the weakest variety of mac. hydrangeas that I have in my garden it seems. If next year, it is still not flowering much, I'd be pulling it out. Let me know if anyone here would be interested to have it next year. You could have it. I don't do any winter protection on my hydrangeas. I can't, I don't have the time nor the interest to do so.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 1:46PM
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lerissa, I do not winterprotect any hydrangeas ala Hayseedman, but could master somewhat protected location(s) if cultivar is of my particular interest.
Worse come to worse, I could grow it as a potted plant for some time.
This year that would be Villosa Aspera and Nightingale.
Still dreaming about involucratas.
I wouldn't mind to give a good home to your Homigo ANY TIME if you decide to pull it out.
I go to Philly quite frequently, so pick up will be not a problem.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 4:09PM
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I have to agree with Lerissa. I have had my Hobella for over 7 years now, even moved it twice in hopes it would do something for me. Mine has never bloomed on new wood, and most of the old wood never makes it thru winter. Besides my Buttons and Bows, it has to be the most non-blooming, weak hydrangea. It's now "planted" in the woods behind my house, great deer fodder. Even when it has bloomed, the flowers were a boring light pink, they dried up before it ever went thru the expected color changes. By the way Lerissa, neither of my Buttons and Bows bloomed this year, I did not winter protect(to me, the only ones worth protecting just to see those pink & white blooms!)the one as I had last winter and it did NOT flower-my fault!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:38PM
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Probably your 'Homigo' is planted on a shady spot.
Please give it another chance for two years by re-planting it on a more sunny spot.
'Homigo' does have a remontant character, just like Endless Summer, but it needs several hours of direct sunlight (preferrably not during the hottest hours of the day) to get enough energy to build buds on new wood.
It would be nice to hear your results in one and/or two years (email:
I really hope you still will become satisfied with 'my' 'Homigo'!

Wilko Hofstede
Breeder of the 'Homigo' Hydrangea

P.S. It's great to read the positive experiences that many of you already had with our varieties. Soon more of them will be introduced in the US!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hovaria website

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 3:42PM
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sudzy(5b IL)

Well, now I'm going to fuss over my plant that should be dead!! (strongly resisting urge to go outside with flashlight to check on it. lol)

Confused. My experience, purchased spring of 2011 at Aldi's. (yep) I had planned on keeping it in a container, but it just kept growing and growing. Though-out the summer of 2011 I found that it did not like the southern site I had picked for my container. The leaves will wilt in intense heat. So, that fall of 2011 I planted it in the ground on the nw side of the house completely out in the weather. Strong north and west winds. I amended soil with compost and bark mulched. Provided no winter protection.
Spring of 2012, I added compost and mulched leaves to soil top. Lots of flower...they did stay green for awhile before turning pink. No further color change that year.
Spring of 2013. Has some winter die back. I simply pruned out dead wood. It has numerous buds right now. It's been a cold spring here in Cen. IL.

I've yet to fertilize or mulch, but it's on my list...."to do soon"

Just wanted to share my experience. My first time with any


Worth mentioning, these past two winters were rather mild tempt wise. Never lower than 20ish. Heck, my Rosemary has stayed alive and healthy last two a container. Never could keep Rosemary before.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:43AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Was your hydrangea also a Homigo Kaleidoscope?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 6:19AM
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