No strawberry on hydrangea paniculata rheny

Eileen52(5)August 30, 2013

My strawberry and cream hydrangea shrub has been very disappointing in its second year... It gets 6 hours of sun a day in fertile, well drained soil. Its very healthy, and a beautiful shape, and has many blooms... problem is, as they age, the part that should darken from pink to strawberry never does... I get a pale pinky peach color which then goes to brown. Its in front of a white fence so I was counting on the strawberry for contrast... we have had an unusual amount of rain this summer... there have been a few hot dry spells during which I watered it faithfully. Everything else about the shrub is doing well. ????? Can anyone shed some light on this?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I probably won't be much help on this, but my 4 year old Vanilla Strawberry didn't do anything but produce big white blooms --until this year. It has been cooler this summer (we had a drought last summer) and half the bloom turned pink--but like you said, then it turned brown rather than strawberry.

Last year a nursery person online said that it was probably too hot here (mine is in full sun most of the day) and that kept the plant from doing its color-change thing. I don't know if that is true, and it probably doesn't help you anyway since your conditions seem a bit different than mine.

Just wanted you to know that you are not the only one feeling frustrated over your Vanilla Strawberry. On the other hand, those big white blooms on mine are truly lovely and so cool looking during these hot late summer days--so I can't really regret getting it. And my neighbor and visitors, not knowing what I thought I was buying, usually comment on how fine they look. So it's not a complete lost cause, I figure.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 3:46PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Many of these paniculatas were developed in Europe, in areas where the weather is much different than yours or mine. When exposed to their kind of summer/fall, there does not appear to be a color problem but when exposed to some summer/fall weathers, it sometimes does not "work"... say, if the summer is too hot.

For example, Vanilla Strawberry has problems in hot summers too. The blooms can brown out too fast in some areas of the US, bypassing the nice magenta that one sees in the advertising pictures..

So if your summer/fall weather is similar to the summer/falls in the plant's home country then the blooms turn colors as expected. Otherwise, they may brown out too fast and bypass some of the red/pink shades that you are talking about.

Other times, sun exposure affects the coloring. Limelight, for example, keeps the green blooms longer if not exposed to a lot of sun. And finally, some plants just need several seasons for their blooms to look "right" so hang on for a few more seasons and then decide if you want to keep it or not.

This post was edited by luis_pr on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 0:19

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 3:54PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Hydrangeas have their own timetable. You can't speed it up, but you can slow it down. This is how it works:

It takes 3-4 years for a hydrangea to develop a sturdy root system and develop what is its normal color.

If you fertilize the hydrangea, it will disrupt the color change to the point that it likely won't happen. Not ever. Only use compost.

If you transplant the hydrangea, it sets the plant's clock back to zero. You must allow 3-4 years for it to re-establish.

If you dig within the root zone of an established hydrangea, part or all of the hydrangea's flowers will revert, then require 3-4 years to again stabilize.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 1:41AM
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Thanks very much guys... very helpful information... yes i just use compost to fertilize.... it is beautiful anyw tansay and i have no intention of removing or transplanting...just wanted some hope... i wondered if it might be a maturity issue. Thanks so MUCH!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:45PM
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