New to Hydrangea- Quick Questions

crabapplemcnJuly 26, 2010

I have 3 Endless Summer Hy that I just planted in spring

1. One is drooping heavily as pictured. Is that normal, can I do anything about it?

2. Should I be cutting off blooms for new blossoms? If so, how far do I cut back? Thanks

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Reason for wilt in recently planted woodies is often too little water in the original rootball. Stick your finger in it to check.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 7:31PM
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Mine have been in the ground for 2 months and have doubled in size. They droop everyday and I water them every day and they pop back up. They just need a year or two of constant watering until they get established. My 4 will take about as much water as I can give them.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:29AM
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Thanks for the help. I will continue to water. Although of my 3 plants, 2 with no wilt get good afternoon sun but the drooping one is tucked in a corner and gets very little sun. Would that contribute to the drooping?
Also, in ohio, when should i prune down in the fall and how for do I cut back? thanks

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:40AM
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I don't believe it is a watering issue. They don't look wilted to me - merely floppy :-) This is a more common situation than you might think with nursery plants or even those recently from the nursery. Growers tend to over-fertilize to stimulate a lot of lush growth (looks good on the nursery bench) and the long stems of the current season's growth just can't support the weight of the flowers. With reblooming types (flowering on new or old growth) like the Endless Summer series, this is even more likely -- there often are not any ripe, woody stems to provide support, only the succulent but less subtantial newer growth.

If you leave the plants alone - no pruning except to remove spent flowerheads - and offer winter protection to avoid dieback, the stems should develop woodiness and more strength with age and be much more supportive in subsequent years. Alternately, you can prune the plants back in late winter/early spring and go very light on any fertilization. The result will be a smaller, more compact shrub with smaller and tighter flowerheads but probably with a somewhat later bloom period.

If NOT reblooming types, you do not want to prune at all, other than remove spent flowers if you want (deadheading does not encourage more flowers). To do so after the beginning of July - right in the middle of the primary hydrangea bloom season in most of the country - you'll be pruning off next year's flowers.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:15PM
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