Is this ok... or am I killing my Hydrangea tree?

Joopster(5 (Chicago))October 25, 2013

I just got this tree. I know that it's so late into the season but it was discounted from $120 to $50 so I couldn't say no. Anyway, I planted 2 days before our first freeze in Chicago. The stem also seem a little small (being that it's still pretty young) so I used 3 bamboo sticks to support it and then wrapped it up with frost protecting fabric. Is this ok or should I not wrap it?

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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

No need to wrap the stem.....especially it being black, which will heat up in winter by the sun's rays and create a freeze-thaw situation (not a good thing)....
You may want to put on a plastic (white) mouse guard if you are concerned about mice/rabbits girdling the bark in winter..

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

Thanks for the good tip Ian. It's actually green and pores but I will take your advice and take it off. I really don't want to lose this tree.

This post was edited by Joopster on Fri, Oct 25, 13 at 11:18

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 11:17AM
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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

I'm sure others will give you their opinions on your tree....especially luis_pr, who frequence this forum and will give you good advice.....

Cheers

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 1:08PM
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luis_pr

Hello, Joopster. I noticed no mulch under on the soil under the tree so please make sure to add some organic mulch, up to 3-4" to the drip line.

Your idea to use sticks is a good one as these tree-form hydrangeas tend to collapse under windy conditions. Once the root system is big enough, the need for them will disappear but in the meantime, protect them with those bamboo sticks or metal stakes, basically whatever you can find that will keep them from collapsing when the wind blows. If the area is not windy, the bamboo sticks may be enough. If it is windy, consider something more sturdy.

These guys have a big chunk of the weight on the top. Add wind/storms and those moving stems/flowers.etc will cause problems if not staked. Same thing happens to standard roses.

Feel free to water whenever the soil feels almost dry or dry to a depth of 4". Once the plant goes dormant, you can further reduce waterings to once a week or once every two weeks. And of course, stop watering when the ground freezes.

Don't bother fertilizing now, not just because it is so late in the growing season for you, but because the potting mix probably already contains those round fertilizer pellets. Fertilize in Spring instead and enjoy the blooms you now have! Use a 1/2 to 1 cup of compost, composted manure or cottonseed meal only once in the Spring. Then use weak fertilizers like coffee grounds, iquid seaweed and liquid fish thru the end of June to prevent the plant from staying active instead of going dormant.

By the way, the blooms can be deadheaded (not pruned) or left for winter interest. I leave them on the plants and they always manage to disappear by magic sometime after January/February/March.

Luis

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

Thanks luis_pr. I didn't add mulch yet because i want to add some tulips around it first. I will add mulch as soon as i get home today.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:42PM
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