Tricolor Hydrangea Help Needed

donna1952(8 W WA Puget So)September 5, 2005

Lowe's had a sale of some Tricolor Hydrangeas - a Macrophylla. The plants were tall and rangey and clusters of leaves were at the tops of the stems. The plants were dry and not well cared for. I bought one - but wonder if I pruned the leggy stems back now, to force growth lower on the stem, would that kill the plant? The tricolor refers to the leaf color - a varigated look and flowers white changing to soft pink the tag says. Any advice you can give me before I plant it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Donna

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Sounds pretty typical for product from Lowe's....:-( I'd avoid cutting back now - it will just create more stress to attempt to produce new foliage this late in the season for an already stressed plant. I'd just plant in an appropriate location in good rich, moisture retentive soil, keep well watered and see what spring produces.

FWIW, 'Tricolor' is frequently mislabeled - I have seen that cultivar name assigned to 'Lemon Wave', 'Variegata' and assorted others. A true 'Tricolor' should have foliage that is a combination of green, gray-green and creamy white and lacecap flowers of a pale blue or pink depending on soil conditions. The flowers ARE very pale, so I guess describing them as white may not be too far off. I'd not hold my breath about the accuracy of Lowe's tagging, however.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 11:13AM
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In defense of Lowe's, in June I bought a dozen big, bushy Nikko Blues in 3 gallon pots from them @ $7.98 each. I also bought nice plants of E.S. there for $10.00, although they were only in 1 gallon pots. Home Depot is famous for selling many plants, not just hydrangeas, that look great until you examine them closely and find that their growers have stuck (usually) three rooted cuttings in a big pot. Avoid those. If you check with Lowe's' nursery managers, they can usually tell you when they're expecting shipments so you can be there with bells on to get the best of the lot.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 1:02PM
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At which Lowes did you get labeled Nikko and ES? I have never seen them have any labeled hydrangeas and when I asked the manager for help, they practically ignored me and never followed up on my request. Perhaps I should be shopping at the Lowes nearest you instead......yg

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 10:48AM
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donna1952(8 W WA Puget So)

Thanks for the responses to my question. I haven't planted the rangey plant yet, and I guess I am still thinking about returning it. On one of the stems there is a VERY SMALL flower head, and if that is any indication of the future flowers to come - I do not think I would enjoy it. The tag showed no flowers at all. I wish I had the name and address of the grower -as I could provide them with a few words! The sales clerk at Lowe's had no idea about any of their plants. He said he just takes the money! DUH.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 9:12AM
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Not to excuse Lowes by any means as my experience has been much like yours, but......sometimes this year's ugly duckling can be next years prize plant. Even though Lowes neglected it, that doesn't mean the plant has no chance. With care in your garden it could bounce back next season very well. I have "rescued" many a plant from Lowes. What have you got to lose? p.s. Variegated varieties like a good deal of shade......yg

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 9:27AM
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