Nikko Blue experience...

melaroma(6)October 6, 2009

I just bought a Nikko Blue, can anyone tell me how they like this hydrangea? Are you happy with it? Does it flower nicely?

Also, what care does it need? I am in zone 6 in Utah and planted it in partial shade 3-4 hours of sun.

Last summer I bought Endless Summer's The Original and I love it! It blooms huge flowers and for a long period. I loved it so much that I bought the Blushing Bride a week ago. I highly recommend Endless Summer which is my first hydrangea. I was nervous about getting Nikko Blue but really wanted a taller hydrangea. Any opinions are appreciated!

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I have one . I like that its tuffer than my Endless Summer. I have noticed that it takes more heat and holds itself up better. Mine is loaded with blooms and if you keep the blooms on they turn a nice green shade. In this zone we don,t have to winter protect them but I think in your zone you might want to.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 8:48AM
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It's tougher than the Endless Summer? How so? How has your experience been with the ES? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 12:09PM
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I have a few ES and while they are wonderful bloom machines I wouldn,t want to be without ,they have drawbacks. We get alot of rain in the pacific northwest and its not unusual for the es to need support after a heavy rain when its loaded with flowers or the whole thing just flattens to the ground. It also faints when we have any real heat. I have both of my es within touching distance of other hydrangeas and the es are the only ones that do this. They also need more water than my other hydrangeas. You cann,t beat that once they start blooming in may/june they don,t stop until a hard frost. So far my forever and ever hydrangeas seem to bloom as much but with a stronger branchs and they have never fainted on me. Nikko occassional will skip a year of blooms if I prune it to late or it gets to cold and dies all the way back. The flowers on the nikko are bigger and stems stronger. My neighbors had a old established one bloom really heavily this year even after it sat threw 4 feet of snow(mine was under the house) Hers is planted out in her pasture and has never missed a year blooming even though it gets no care and no water other than rain. I have to baby all mine a little because they are in pots.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 1:02PM
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I have mine planted under an overhang and in mostly shade so it is protected from the rain and wind but gets enough sun to bloom beautifully. I will have to keep an eye on in during heat spells. So basically I can leave the ES alone and it will still bloom but I should winterize the Nikko?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 12:44PM
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The one she planted in the pasture next door doesn,t need any protection and still blooms but thats not been my exp. I would protect it just as insurance against a harsh winter and because they are first year plants a little extra care would be a good idea for both of them.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 1:10PM
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Good idea, I will winterize the three of them. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 9:35PM
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My Niko's have all grown enormous this summer and put all their energy into growing up and out, rather than into blooms. I'm thinking about cutting them down but wonder if that might harm them. At this point they almost cover the barn windows, so must be 6 - 7 ' tall. Should I just top them or should I take them down quite low, and when should that be done? After they have lost all their leaves? I am in zone 6, by the east coast.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:58AM
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If you cut them back this late there is a better than good chance you won,t get anyflowers next year. If you really need to cut them back it should be done right after blooming. If you do a seach here you should come up with plenty of info. on cutting them back.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 3:01PM
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Hi melaroma - I'd like to venture that, depending on our zone differences & conditions, similar plants could behave differently except for their general intrinsic habits. I have all 3 you have & would consider ES & BB as quite reliable bloomers more than Nikko ... of the 2 ES cousins, I'd vote for BB as a better overall shrub & bloomer. My Nikko was 20y/o last Mom's Day ... didn't know much about caring for her except cover up in Winter & protect from harsh sun in the height of Summer ... for 16 seasons all I did was install one of those 2-ft wire, fold-up fencing to contain collected fallen leaves, as Winter protection & was planted where she got dappled shade, from a Locust tree in the summers' PM sun ... bloomed only sparingly over the 16 years & never blues, like when I first got her.

Thanks to this Garden Web that I stumbled into ... I got educated about Over-Wintering & old Nikko responded positively. However in our zone, Ma Nature sometimes deals us a bad card ... like one last Winter ... t'was labeled as a *KILLING WINTER* by many reputable nurseries! Â:( Meticulously covered) Nik did not bloom nor did any of my 3 Oakleaf Hydrangeas, 1 F&E ... both ESs only a few clusters & simply pinks, etc, etc BB was a machine producing white beautiful clusters!!!

Like sunnyflies' Nikko grew at her usual stature of 6ft tall & around ... in '05 we had to take our old tree down & Nikko suffered from our Iowa sun ... built her an arbor & planted SA Clematis that climbed so fast & gave her shade ... ma Nature dealt us a late tornado in Oct of '08 ... took down Nik's arbor ... tired of all the coddling from Winter & sun, we dug her up & relocated in a sheltered site last Sept. I pruned several of her canes to the ground, thinned her, saved just a few good ones w/ fat buds & topped the upper 3rd. In 2wks all the canes I pruned were showing greens from the ground. She may not bloom come Spring & thats OK, she survive the assaults of digging & move!

Sunnyflies - Nikko's 2010 blooms are protected in those fat buds on old canes ... easy on topping too low. In z6 you could get away with just bundling her canes loosely w/ strips of old sheets, surround her w/ dry collected leaves & creating a burlap tent with those 6ft-plasti-coated poles from HD ... secure w/ garden pins at the base.

Sorry for the long story ... old Nik was my very first!!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Sunnyflies, it could be three things, it was pruned too late, last winter froze off the buds or you fertilized with a high nitrogen fertilizer which will produce more foliage and less blooms. I wouldn't prune it until after it's done flowering next year and try to fertilize it in the spring with a fertilizer low in nitrogen.

Ditas, Thank you for that story! I am unsure what to believe when it comes to Nikko. The nursery said that it's the best for our zone and that it is quite popular in the state of Utah but I haven't seen not one!! I see Anabells all the time but no Nikkos. I'm beginning to think that they don't do very well in zone 6. Sigh guess I will have go forfit the tulips and daffodils and move to Florida so that I can support my addiction to hydrangeas.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 1:15AM
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