Nikko Blue Hydrangea

Naturalchick27(6)June 29, 2011

Hi I bought my first hydrangea from Lowe's home improvement back in late April of this year. It was in a large pot with lots of blooms. I kept it in the pot for close to a month. It was kept in my yard which gets about 6-8 hours of sun. I planted it in late May after I notice the blooms turning brown and falling off. Once planted, I snipped off the dead blooms. Now I can see buds and new leaves opening up but is there any chance that new blooms will form next summer? Is there anything I need to do to it for the winter? Also, I checked the PH of the soil and it's at 7.0. Is that ideal for the hydrangea?

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Very likely that you will see new blooms in Spring. Hydrangeas begin to develop flower buds in the month of July. To prepare it for winter, maintain 4" of mulch up to the drip line and quit fertilzing by the end of July or earlier.

Hydrangeas tolerate neutral soil and some degree of alkalinity. When the alkalinity gets bothersome, you will know... the leaves will turn light green or yellowish, with leaf veins remaining dark green.

Your soil pH is neutral at a reading of 7. In the past, NB has reacted to that by displaying light shades of blue. Some people have reported it to look blue-green or more white than blue.

Right now, the soil pH that counts is the one in the potting mix because that is where the roots are located. As the roots grow and extend into your soil, they will respond to the soil pH in your garden (7.0). As you see the shades of blue that develop, decide whether you want to get darker blues. If you do, acidify the soil below a reading of 6. You can do this by amending the soil with garden Sulphur, green sand, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate (do not use a/s near azaleas/rhododendrons) or iron-chelated liquid compounds. Plant nurseries should carry any one of the above. Apply per the product labels as long as you can. You will need to amend forever because soil has a tendecy to return to its original state. No need to amend when the soil is frozen and covered with snow, of course. Note: it is easier to change/control soil pH when the plant is in a pot/container.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Thanks so much for your reply. If I wanted to alter the blooms to purple or pink, what would I need to add to the soil? When would I add to the soil to see the change in color? Also, what should I do to protect it from the elements in the winter? Here in Philadelphia, we get extreme wind, snow storms, sleet etc:(

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 7:18PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Winter protect with windbreaks foremost; your plant will withstand most of our temps just not so much drying winter winds. I'm saving some sheets of packing styrofoam to use as windbreaks propped up inside semicircular wire fences for a few of mine. You can fill the inner space around the stems with leaves and cover the whole thing with a thin tarp or burlap sheet. I'm not going to tie the covers around, just weight down with some bricks. If you want your plant "going commando" you can spray water on it and let it freeze in December and/or mound up snow on it throughout the season - but it still might need protection from spring freezes after the buds begin to swell up green (try FreezePruf spray or old bed sheets). Don't worry about crushing hydrangeas, they're supposed to spring back on their own.

Another tip: If your property is big enough for more, (at least my) Lowe's now has David Ramsey hydrangeas on clearance in 10-gal for $20 and 15-gal for $35. These grow within a foot or so (in height) of Nikkos and they bloom on new growth, so you don't have to worry about bud-kill as much. The 10-gal I just found had a first round of blooms at 2' which have all dried and now has a 2nd round coming in at 4' on new stems which Nikkos simply cannot do.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:17AM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Check that - I meant Home Depot for clearance hydrangeas, not Lowe's! They had a lot of others besides Ramsey too, I just used that for comparison.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:37AM
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