blue hydrangeas

magpie57July 11, 2008

Hi

I'd like to grow blue hydrangeas. The spot in question is on a southern slope and receives morning and midday sun. Our lot has many oaks and hemlocks on it which grow naturally which indicates to me that we have acid-based soil (without doing a soil test).

Which blue hydrangeas can I grow? Will I have to place straw on them for the winter?

Thanks for you help!

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

There is a newer introduction of hydrangea (hydrangea macrophylla) named "endless summer". It's claim to fame is that it blooms on both old wood (from last season) as well as new wood. Thus, if killed to near the ground in a zone 4 (possibly zone 3) winter, it can recover and still bloom that summer.

As for flower color, they are supposedly blue in acidic soil, pink in alkaline. As for winter, it might depend on your zone, the minimum that it would require is very good consistant snow cover, maybe mounded over.

I planted one this spring in a full sun location. Apparently they prefer morning sun, afternoon shade, but the further north you go the more sun they can take. Still, mine has drooped a few times, but I attribute that to the root system not being as spreadout yet into the new soil.

They were available at alot of garden centers and discount stores this spring.

Sounds like you may have the ideal yard for them.

Glen

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 2:02PM
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magpie57

Thanks
You know, I found an "Endless Summer" this wkd and bought it, then looked it up on the internet and decided to bring it back to Home Depot where I bought it. Sounds like I should've kept it!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 10:41PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Magpie, well I can't say for sure whether or not you should have kept it, I guess it depends on why you returned it. I did read that 'endless summer' was developed in Minnesota zone 4 and some in zone 3 have had success overwintering them so that's what prompted me to buy one this spring. Time will tell. It's definitely pretty in bloom. The blooms on my plant are pink, but more lavender purple pink.

So, next spring if my plant does survive winter, I will definitely recommend it. I am just debating on the amount of winter protection to give mine. They say as long as some of the centre crown of the plant survives it will bloom.

Glen

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:26AM
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liza070831(z4VT)

I have an ES tucked under a row of pines on a hillside. It has been blooming for me for 3 years now without any special protection. It too gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:30PM
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iowaviking

We've had an Endless Summer for three years now, as well, and it has done very well. During the icestorm two winters ago it was basically knocked to the ground but recovered nicely an still had blooms as it does bloom on new wood. Our's doesn't get much direct sun other than maybe an hour or two in the late morning.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 11:06AM
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magpie57

thanks, liza and iowa viking; you sound very encouraging. I wonder if they will turn blue, even tho' I've added triple mix to the soil?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:59AM
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rainydaze(4)

Our soil is quite acidic -- here's a photo of mine. This ES was taken down by deer and rabbits twice. This is hte 4th year and she's the biggest she's ever been. She is between my house and my neighbors and only gets maybe 3 hours of direct son.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:57AM
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posieh(3)

I'll add my "two cents" here. I bought two Endless Summer last year. One of them had one bloom. This spring only one of them came up and it is still setting there wondering what it should do ! I talked to a Nursery man and he said that they needed to be planted deep, above the graft. I'm so disappointed, but we had two heavy April snows that might have done them in. -

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 7:23PM
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ginkgonut(4)

Endless Summer is grown from cuttings, not grafted or budded.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 9:52AM
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