I'm Confused....

missmary(6b)July 8, 2011

I've been reading a lot of posts here recently - and really enjoying it, and learning a lot (love the pics) - but I'm getting a little confused about the very most basic of facts about sun and shade.

So, just cutting right to the chase, here's my question:

How much sun is "too much", and/or how much shade is "too much" for an Endless Summer "The Original", and also Blushing Bride?

My yard sets in a woodland setting --- but I have some choices as to "how much" sun/shade I plant my hydrangeas in:

They are:

Spot #1: dappled shade throughout the day, with maybe an hour of direct sun in the mid morning, and then 1 - 2 hours of mostly direct sun in late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky.

Spot #2: Shade with about 4 hours of midday direct sun.

Spot #3: Almost all shade - bright, light shade, but almost exclusively shade none the less.

Which is best, and can I plant hydrangeas in all these spots?

Thank you.

Miss Mary

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Not knowing where you are

Define 'midday'

Initial hunch: 1 sounds the best, 2 and 3 may be a wash. They will likely wilt hard with 4 hours of midday sun.

I have sandy soil, live in MN and my ESO cannot take midday sun. The flowers burn.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:46PM
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Hello, Miss Mary. It all a matter of geographical location. The reason for the shade requirement is to protect the leaves from the intense summer sun. In the south of the country (during the summer), leaves sunscorch when the plant gets too much sun. But in the northern states, the shrub can get exposed to more sun and not damage the leaves.

Part shade is a term meant to suggest about 4 hours of sun or less. Hydrangeas will do well if grown where they get morning sun (say, 4 hours or less) and then receive shade for the remainder of the day. Afternoon or mid-day sun may be a problem depending on where one lives, i.e., depending on how strong the summer sun is where you live.

Sunrise here is around 6:30am in the summer so sun until 10:30 wopuld be fine. From personal experience (a storm broke some branches off a Crape Myrtle that shaded the hydrangea), if they get sun after 12pm, the leaves suffer from sunscorch. Then again, my MIL had a Nikko Blue in Mass. Not only did she plant it on the west side of her home but it received sun from 11am until sunset. So what happened? No problem. No leaf damage.

Bottom line: hydrangeas came from regions where they grow in morning sun and afternoon shade. Choose a similar location and experiment with others. Or drive around and see where other people plant theirs?

Sunscorch: if you notice that, during the summer, that the leaves in direct contact with the sun turn all yellowish or whiteish (including the leaf veins), the shrub is getting too much sun. Transplant it to a better location.

All shade can also be ok if we are not talking about deep shade. Deep shade causes the hydrangea to produce less blooms. But "bright" shade is ok. That is when indicrect light hits the shaded area off surfaces like walls, driveways, etc.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:14AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Mary, good advice above. In most of the country, #1 sounds perfect, dappled shade almost never fails. The plants get enough sun, but with the changing angles of the sun coming through overstory trees, never so much for so long on one bloom or leaf that it burns.

#3 sounds quite doable too. Bright indirect light can be enough for blooms.

#2 works only if you live in coastal Washington where we have more days with cloud cover, fog than with sun :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Zone 7a. Central Maryland

The thought dropped into my head in the middle of the night last night.... "OOPS! I didn't put my zone!". ARGH!

I knew my neglect of that fact would affect everyone's answers.

Thanks so much for working with me. Your answers have been Tres Helpful!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:10AM
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