Bareroot hydrangeas the way to go?

dublinbay z6 (KS)December 26, 2009

Hope you can advise me. I live in a small midwestern town--which means the local garden centers tend to offer just tried and true plants--not some of the newer ones I want to try out. Although I have often planted bareroot roses and know they can "catch up" by the end of the season to potted roses planted at the same time, I was wondering if the same is true for bareroot hydrangeas?

I'd like to get a Pinky Winky and Strawberry Vanilla, but the chances of a local place offering them is unlikely, but I don't want to plant a dinky hydrangea like White Flower Farm offers and then have to wait several years for it to really get going. However, even if I found an online place that offered, let's say, 3 gallon hydrangeas, the shipping costs would be awfully steep. So I was wondering if ordering online bareroot hydrangeas was a reasonable compromise between those two options?

When I get bareroot roses, I plant them rather early in the season--maybe late March or early April. Would a bareroot hydrangea also be planted that early?



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ladywindsurfer(Z7 SE)

In my opinion, it's would not be advisable to purchase bare-root Hydrangeas. I haven't had experience with paniculatas, but had a nursery ship three large bare-root Oakleaf's one time and could only coax one into surviving. It required three years for it to produce a single bloom. Reminded me of starting from scratch, with a cutting.

'Pinky Winky' should be available at a nursery in your trade area, as they are very popular in the lower Hardiness Zones. Vanilla Strawberry is a new release from Bailey Nurseries and probably is in limited production. Google Bailey Nurseries and enter your Zip Code in the "Where to buy" window and select a radius. Garden Centers that stock their products will be listed. If they have placed an order for spring delivery, they may be willing to add one for you, if they don't already have them on their list.
If you are like me, there is a limit to how far you would drive to shop for plants. We often make short trips during major Holidays to visit relatives and friends and if a nursery along the way has something we want, we make arrangements to pick them up, assuming they are open. One nursery that we have patronized for almost 40 years, will leave the plants near the gate for pickup and we leave a check on a clipboard in the potting shed. Small town, nothing is locked!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 3:06PM
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Bluestone Perennials (Madison, OH) has quite a large selection of hydrangeas and they're a Watchdog 30 company on Dave's Garden. Their customer service is awesome and people on GW rave about them too. Unlike White Flower Farm which has around 50% negative feedback on Dave's Garden, Bluestone Perennials has like 98% positive feedback and also guarantees their plants 100%. You might want to contact them to check on the shipping costs. I'd be really surprised if they didn't work with you on that. They have a 50% off sale sometime in May each year which, if they haven't sold out of what you're looking for, would also cut the cost.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 3:16PM
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You might also consider Hydrangeas Plus. They sent me really healthy 2 gallon plants with minimal dirt but not even close to bareroot. They do a really good job of keeping the shipping cost as low as possible without sending a tiny twig.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 9:07PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you for all the information. Turns out the closest nursery carrying Bailey plants is about 30 miles away in Missouri--at a place I like to visit periodically. I will try to contact them after the first of the year and see if they will carry or order for me Vanilla Strawberry and Pinky Winky.

If not, I will try Bluestone and Hydrangeas Plus. I was just browsing their web pages. Can't wait to see their 2010 offerings which, I assume will be posted soon. Both places look great, but I may have to give up the 3 gal. idea--wow, are those expensive! However, the 2 gal. ones aren't too bad, expense-wise, so we'll see.

This has been very helpful. I was somewhat at a loss how to get more hydrangeas, given the limited resources of my small town. I ordered Annabelle and Nikko Blue years ago from either Wayside or White Flower Farm, but other than those, I hadn't really explored hydrangeas any further. I'm quite excited about these new purchases.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 4:13AM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

I recently got a catalog from Jung Seeds, and they are selling Vanilla Stawberry this spring. The bare root shrubs I have ordered from them in the past have been a pretty good size. I do order in spring to minimize danger of baking in the box on the way here.

Lois in PA

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 12:56PM
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