new gardener with lots of questions-please help

flora43April 21, 2008


I am fairly new to gardening and have several questions. Please help if you can. I am in the metro area. Thanks!

1) I have an endless summer hydrangea. The first year I had it it had lots of blooms. The second year lots of leaves and only 1 bloom the whole summer. I did not fertilize it. I did not cut it back last fall. How do I get it to bloom like the first year. Is it too late to cut it back now? It gets sun morning through afternoon.

Also, I have ammended the soil using aluminum sulfate but blooms are still pink.

2) I have some boxwood that has yellow on it. Is it a good time to prune them back?

3) I have a second story window box. I water it with a watering can through an upstairs window. Any good watering tricks to help me reduce the number of times I have to water?

4) I have William Baffin climbing roses that I didn't prune last year in the fall. Can I prune them now? What do I do about the rose hips?

5) I bought several hydrangea bushes last year at the end of the season. I'm not seeing any buds yet, is it too early? I think they are Little Lamb, Pink Diamond and Limelight.

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I don't have all the answers, but I have a few. I used to have a second story window box, and I know your problem exactly. One thing that can help is a product called 'Soil Moist', it is a polymer that absorbs water and releases it to your plants root systems slowly. You mix it into your planting mix when you plant in the spring. You need to be careful with it though, because you can also drown your plants if you are not careful...see the link below for more info.

I have William Baffin too, you can prune it anytime. Cut the hips or leave them, it is up to you. Baffin is a tough customer, so don't loose sleep over that.

It is too early to worry about your hydrangeas...they are not early risers.

Good Luck, Helen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Moist

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:15PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

As far as your Endless Summer, if you want blue blooms you'll need to get the soil ph down to below 5. Depending on what your soil ph is you might have to do a lot of amending. Soil sulphur would be a better choice than aluminum sulphate. I would also suggest fertilizer and Endless Summer likes a fair amount of water too. Now would be a good time to cut it back. Cut it back to green wood, most of the time for me that means to the ground. Hopefully someone else can help you with the boxwood.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:45PM
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I think a heavy mulch layer over the winter helps on the ES hydrangea. I use about 2 feet of leaves.

My limelight is just barely showing signs of life. The buds are very small, but I can see a little green.

Pruning boxwood now is fine.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 6:34AM
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