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Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Posted by twrosz Z3 Ab. (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 3, 07 at 14:05

Last night as we walked around the upscale development of Terwilliger Park in south Edmonton, I was surprised to see several types of hydrangeas apparently thriving ... well, okay, most had been in the ground for only a year or two, but they sure we're looking good! I think what I had seen were grandiflora hydrangea 'Pee Gee' and it's similiar varieties such as 'Quick Fire'. Most were about three feet in height and loaded with their large clusters of cone shaped flowers. Then against the south and west side of someone's home, there were several plants of macrophylla 'Endless Summer' ... a nice surprise indeed! These have those large blue and pink mopheads.

I'm just wondering if these are truly hardy in the Edmonton area, OR if the DEEP snows of last winter and mild winter of '05 had been the major contributing factor to their success to date? I know 'Endless Summer' requires winter protection.

I'm familiar with hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' and it's huge white flower clusters, but beyond this one, what hydrangeas are you seeing thriving in your neighbourhood?

Terry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I see Pee Gee Hydrangeas thriving all over in northern Minnesota and we're any from zone 2b to 3b...

I'm guessing that if you plant them in a protected area away from the worst winds and elements, they'd thrive in zone 3.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I have heard that they won't survive well in the Calgary area unless they are heavily mulched. Last year, probably around August, I planted an Endless Summer - but it didn't make it through the winter. I did not winter protect it at all and it was an experiment to see if it would live or not (incidently my zone 4 black beauty elder did make it with no additional care). This year I have planted Annabelle, Endless summer and Pee Gee, so I will see how they make it through the winter, although this time I will winter protect Annabelle and Endless Summer. I also plan to plant Pinky Winky - when ever I can find one to plant.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 1, 08 at 10:36

I have the opportunity to order, thru my greenhouse grower neighbor, the new Hydrangea called Pinky Winky. After doing some internet reading (the blooms in the photos look stunning), all signs look good that this could be a winner for the far north garden. It's hardy to -40 (although its listed mostly as USDA zone 4) and blooms on new wood so even with tip kill it should still bloom. I've also read it's tolerant of a wide range of soil ph.

Mostly, I have to admit, the name just made me LOL and that's probably more the reason I'm ordering it.


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I love the name - please keep us posted on whether it is a success for you. I had thought of trying an Endless summer but ran out of space [for the time being]

Fern


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

T&T Seeds carries 'Endless Summer' and for the most part their stuff is hardy to zone 3, possibly 2. I really want to try it but besides no room, also would feel more comfortable buying an actual potted plant from a nursery, instead of the bare root mail order thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: endless summer hydrangea


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I planted Endless Summer last year so we'll see if it survives. I've ordered Pinky Winky from T&T. Normally, as an avowed xeriscaper I don't use anything that can't survive here but a friend said hers were doing just fine, so I thought I'd give it a try. The blooms on these two are gorgeous and not as droopy as Pee Gee
Kate


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I just purchased Pinky Winky the other day.

Hydrangea Pinky Winky

Very nice ....some in the greenhouse was starting to show pink tones.

Shelley


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I planted a Pee Gee last spring and it came through winter with flying colors and it is close to blooming right now.
I only trimmed the tips off this spring, and mainly due to a certain puppy who kinda was chew crazy for awhile. (thank goodness that stage is over with!:)
It was not mulched, but was under good snow cover.
And like Pudge, I bought Pinky Winky this spring mainly due to the name and also of course for its color.
It wasn't on my "to buy" list, but there were so many healthy plants at Wickhams this spring, I couldn't resist
It is going great guns and starting to flower right now.
Deb


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Pee Gee is perfectly hardy in Edmonton, perhaps not so much in Calgary unless in a location sheltered from our dessicating chinook winds.

Endless Summer is supposely hardy in Calgary, however it dies back to the ground.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Quick Fire has been in bloom for about six weeks now and again flushing on new wood, it's a very good hydrangea that puts on a PROLONGED show. Little Lamb is a real looker with its awesome large full flower heads, real NICE stuff! I like them both very much, QuickFire for it's earliness, but more so Little Lamb for those FULL flower ...

Both are situated in protected sites and I'm hoping they do well coming through the winter ... though, I think I'm gonna protect them just to make sure.

Terry


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I did purchase and plant an 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea this spring. Time will tell how it survives winter, but it was almost worth the price just for how well it has bloomed this summer. The blooms on my plant weren't quite pink, but more purple pink and lately the last few blooms are blue. It might have something to do with fertilizing it with conifer fertilizer.

Anyways, I can see what the fuss is about, this plant definitely has a long bloom period and really stands out.

The only thing is I planted mine in quite a bit of sun. They say they prefer afternoon shade, but the more north you go the more sun they can tolerate. I guess it's like that with alot of plants. Anyways, some afternoons it droops in the sun but perks up once in the shade again. Other times if it droops and the soil is dry, I water and it seems to perk up. It's a fine line, though. I don't want to overwater but do recognize that the root system likely isn't too spread out to obtain adequate water and the amended soil that the plant is in is like more prone to drying out.

Glen


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 18, 09 at 11:01

I moved some mulch and scratched the wood on Pinky Winky and it appears to have survived winter quite well.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Pudge, I see 'QuickFire' has wintered well, the stems are green way up :) I'll probably plant another one of these. I'll have to check how 'Little Lamb' has managed, I'm guessing it should be fine, as it was well protected under a deep blanket of snow.

'Twist-n-Shout' is a new lacecap variety that flowers on new wood.

Terry


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Wed, May 27, 09 at 1:35

I couldn't resist - Regina Costco has really nice pots of Limelight which also flowers on new wood and is hardy to USDA 3 (that's close enough for me). A friend for Pinky Winky.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

How are everyone's Hydrangeas doing now?

Would love one but I'd sure like to know which will have the best chance here.

Pictures would be great, too =:)

Thanks!


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 30, 11 at 18:15

My Limelight is going to have a lot of blooms this year - they are just starting to form now.

Pinky Winky died from a late spring frost in its second year.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Oohhhh, poor Pinky Winky.

I'll look forward to pictures of your Limelight, Pudge.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I have two Quick Fire. They're both blooming. Basically no die back on either over the winter. The rabbits did do a number on the one in the front yard, so it's smaller but it's still going strong.

I also planted a White Diamond a few weeks ago. The tag says it's hardy to zone 2.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I searched for "hydrangea" in this forum and found this very useful thread - thank you!

I am a huge fan of hydrangeas - before I moved here, I was in zone 5b and I planted all sorts of macrophyllas, arborescens and paniculatas. My favourites had to be Quick Fire (for its gorgeous, prolonged show), Limelight (for its vigor), and my Endless Summer (for its amazing show of abundant blue blooms). My Pinky Winky surprisingly did not do as well and it was also a favourite snack of the local bambis so poor thing never had a good chance... Now that I am in zone 3, I am sure that Endless Summer will not be a good idea for me (I am not going to baby it LOL), and I am very much looking forward to planting some paniculatas here.

My zone 5b Limelight was over 6 feet tall in barely 3-4 years and my Quick Fire was about 5 feet tall in about 3 years. I am guessing that they would not get this big here in Calgary?

Oh, and has anyone seen the Strawberry Vanilla hydrangea for sale here in Calgary yet?


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

OK, OK, folks! I was searching for "hydrangea" here and then found this thread again!!!

I am wondering if those of you who have hydrangeas in zone 3 or colder for over a year now could give a report as to how your lovelies are doing please? I would love to hear the report! Thank you.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I bought a Quick Fire last year and didn't find the time to plant it. I sunk it in a hole for the winter and it got only a small amount of snow, no more than 6 inches.

It's got lovely green leaves all over it now =:)


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Thanks, nutsaboutflowers! It's great to hear that your Quick Fire is doing so well! I would love to have one in my yard.... :-)

I would love to hear from the others!


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

'Little Lamb' is slow to get going, though has plenty of live wood.

'Incrediball' had grown very well last summer, lots of strong stems and massive blooms. Had planted it a deeper and hilled it up for winter, this spring it's surprisingly dead as a door nail! Thankfully, I had rooted a few cuttings and now planted these closer to the foundation of the house where I hope for better success.

'Early Sensation' is coming with strong new shoots from the base ... this is a variety much like 'Endless Summer', though I consider it superior when it comes to bloom production. I always hill this one up for winter.

Have 'Tuff Stuff' on order from GardenImport.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

I've had Pinky Winky growing in zone 2 b for the past three years, without any extra protection.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

So do you guys follow the recommendation of partial shade? Or do your plants do fine in sun?


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Mine gets morning and some afternoon sun, but it is shaded by the house by late afternoon.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

My limelight is on its third spring and still kicking. Its leafing out nicely right now. Its on the north side of the house, but fairly sheltered and gets both morning and evening light but is protected from the harshness of afternoon by the shadow of the house. Maybe I will try a pink one this year if i can find one cheap enough.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Thank you, everyone, for your updates! It is very encouraging to hear that some of my favourite hydrangeas do well in zone 3 and even zone 2 climate!

Has anyone tried that Invincibelle Spirit (or something like that?) - the pink Annabelle that just came out a few years ago? How about Little Lime? Is it just as hardy as Limelight?

Thank you again!


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Came across this photo of 'Little Lamb' taken last year, I had counted 130 blooms and the plant being over 5 ft x 5 ft. I have four of these awesome hydrangeas planted around the place.


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So nice!!! All mine died back hard.

SCG


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

SCG, these paniculata types are pretty darn hardy, I had needed to cut this one back to about 2 1/2 ft to restrict its growth.


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Gorgeous! :)


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Terrance, your Little Lamb is absolutely gorgeous!!!

I used to have one before I moved to Calgary but it was a bit floppy and nothing as lovely as yours.


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My hydrangea was really late to bud out this year, to the point that I thought it was dead...but it's coming along. Wished I could grow the mophead type but it's not reliably hardy for here.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

My 'Bella Anna" which should be pink looks like it survived quite well. This is the new pink.

If my ES don't grow well this year I will shovel prune them for little lambs. 3 years is enough without blooms!!!

SCG


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

OOPS! I just had an impulse purchase this past weekend - I found a lovely and full Endless Summer with buds, so I could not help myself but to part with my hard-earned cash just so that I could take her home!!! Sigh....

Now, I need to find her a spot in the bed but as a result, I may have to get rid of my other baby.... a Sambucus Canadensis Laciniata! She is a beauty but a bit too big for that spot and.... and I am looking for excuses to get rid of that poor thing! I feel so guilty now.... see what these hydrangeas do to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

My experience with Endless Summer is this...tried it planted outside against my house...prime spot...with lots of winter protection...survived every winter but took forever to bloom...well into August...finally dug it up and potted in a large container and wintered in the garage with my roses...it's happy now and reliably gives me color all summer.

Photo taken 5 minutes ago

Good luck!


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Wow, that is really, really smart.

Now I have to go get one.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

rosecavalier, that is absolutely gorgeous!

May I ask you how many years that ES has been in that big pot for now?

I tried to do this overwintering-in-a-pot inside my garage kind of thing with my tender hybrid tea roses when I lived in zone 5 before, and it worked for a few years. Then the roses just didn't do well after that.

I am wondering if that would be the case with ES too? I am very curious to see how many years you have done that for already. Is your garage heated or insulated? Did you water it throughout winter or just let it dry out? When would you take it out of the garage again? Do you have to do this "hardening" thing like what one would do with these potted roses, when they first come out of the garage again? Sorry for all of these questions, but I really would love to learn from your experience - thank you!

I might just be doing this with my "impulse buy" ES now! :-) Thanks!

Shazam, let me enable you... LOL! I bought mine at CT on Richmond Road a few days ago. They are BIG and HEALTHY and the best looking. The price was very good too!!! :-)


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Oh dear.....this means there could be a chance that a CT around here could carry them as well.......or I make a trip out to Greenland.........or Agrola.....or....or....or... :)

Ginny


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Ginny.... GIVE IT UP AND GET ONE!!!!!!! ROTFLOL! I am a bad enabler.... LOL!


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Hahahaha! Twist my rubber arm! OK, that's enough! :)

Ginny


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

rosecavalier, thanks for posting the photo and please update us when the plant is in full glory. I'm going to dig and pot up 'Early Sensation', It has wintered for several years planted near the foundation, though has never thrived in ground. It's a compact growing variety that reliably produces mid summer blooms on every new stem that emerges ... now, to put on my parka and get the shovel, it's like only 5 C this morning and forecast calls for clearing skies overnight, wouldn't surprise me if some places receive frost :(


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Ostrich: Very good questions and I would be pleased to answer.

First of all, hydrangeas (mopheads and lacecap) have been so easy to winter...and you will find this out...especially since you have wintered roses indoors for a comparison.

Endless Summer has been in this pot for 3-4 yrs - they do fine in pots...difficult to over water...and respond to giving them more and more space over time...pots can get huge in time, but then so is the flower show.

I winter in an insulated garage...kept a couple degrees above freezing. Bring them in before the first fall frost...they will eventually dry up and go into dormancy. Pots are large so they don't dry out. In spring...prune tips (keep as much brown wood as possible as that is your support structure for next year... those mopheads are heavy)...water...and they are ready to go...can keep them in the garage if cool til later if need be. Hydrangeas are not like roses in the sense of wanting to break dormancy in February...I know you know what I'm talking about...they are SIMPLE to winter.

Terry: Once you pot yours up, you'll be amazed...all of my hydrangeas are the Safeway brand...I found when you get them home, knock off those gorgeous blooms and get them repotted ASAP...sometimes takes them a year to break out of the dense root ball...but then they take off. I keep adding to my collection...hope to pick up a Nikko Blue at the end of nursery season.


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Thank you for your inspiration! Having grown gorgeous hydrangeas for 20 years in Zone 8a, I wondered if I'd have to give them up since moving to GP. I'm inspired to give them a try here. There was one 'Pinky Winky' left at Costco (plant on left) and several 'Fire and Ice', of which I got one to try.

I also picked up a spruce and the willow, 'Hakuro Nashiki' although it is rated at Zone 4...we will see :)


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Sorry, photo included now.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Hope you meet with success...haven't grown paniculata hydrangeas before, but there is usually a beautiful Annabelle that eeks out an existence on the east side of the old courthouse building...quite spectacular some years. I wonder how well paniculatas would do in large pots...and wintered inside.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Rosecavalier and Leandra, the paniculatas are so EASY! They don't require any winter protection at all in my Calgary garden, with hardly any winter damage to the stems!

By now my Quick Fire is full, green and lush, and my Pinky Winky is also doing well. The Vanilla Strawberry is a bit behind but it will be OK too. The Little Lime is also doing well too.

I also have 3 Incrediballs - my goodness, they are also looking great. OK, they are not paniculatas but they do do well around here.

No, they are not nothing like the blue macrophyllas, but they still do look lovely in full bloom....


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Thanks for enabling me ostrich......I am tired of a bunch of mine dying back and want to replace...incrediballs are easy to come by..... how are limelight for you all?

SCG


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

SCG, I got a Limelight in my Zone 5 garden before - OMG, that thing was a GIANT!!! It was like 6-7 feet tall!!! It was way too big... but quite a statement plant LOL!

Anyway, I am sure that it doesn't grow as big here, but still, something a bit more refined would be better. Would you try Little Lime?

So far, I have found that Quick Fire is the best one of the bunch. It leaves out and starts to bloom earlier than the other paniculatas. Also, the flowers are more delicate and more refined than the other ones with big heads like Limelight. I like it a lot.

I am still waiting for a couple more years before I judge Vanilla Strawberry.

BTW, I forgot to mention that my little Bombshell has not done a darn thing so far. The stems are surely green and alive but it's just not leafing out!!! UGH!

Go on, SCG.... you have the space for it! TRY IT! LOL

Here's my Quick Fire from last year.... the flowers are still white, before it turned pink and became "fire"! LOL

 photo IMG_4889_edited-1resized.jpg


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Here is Invincibelle Spirit, planted on west side of building but gets shade in late afternoon, there is a down spout that provides water a few feet away. This was it's first winter and gets good snow cover, have an Endless Summer just south of it but no life showing there yet. I never added any other protection.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Okay ostrich you enabled me.... I came home with a quick fire and a replacement annabelle. Almost got a limelight but figured I had done enough damage. I am going to give the rest of my hydrangea's till this time next year to show me something or I will shovel prune them.

Talking to the owner of the nursery today and he figured this was the 3rd worst winter (for plants) in the past 25yrs.

SCG


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

BEAUTIFUL photo Ostrich! 'Quick Fire' is indeed a very hardy and easy to grow hydrangea!

wayne61, your 'Invincible Spirit' is coming along nicely, my 'Anna Bella' is beginning to establish decently well this spring.


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RE: Hydrangeas on the Prairies ?

Speaking of Bella Anna how are you finding her canes to be doing twrosz? Many people are complaining of very thin, weak canes that cannot support the blooms. I have one that made it through the winter and is struggling to leaf out. If it doesn't bloom this year I will be shovel prune it....wish I could find little lamb around here :)

I wonder if they are discontinuing bella anna as it is no longer in the product lineup on the website.

SCG


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