Return to the Hydrangea Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Posted by jujujojo 6b (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 20:39

Hi, my husband gave me two Easter Hydrangea in pots. They are very tall hydrangea macrophylla - about 2 feet. I examined the plants - each has a wood base of 4 branches followed by new green growths of this year. I have cut the spent flowers and stems.

Can I just put them into ground now? It is always above zero outside now.

There is an empty spot to the North of our house right next to the wall. There is another empty spot to the West of our house. Are these places okay for them? Are there anything to be careful about?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

A location that will provide shade in the afternoon during the summer months is usually best. Review your locations and try to determine if they will be shaded in the afternoons during the summer months,

They prefer well draining, acidic soil that is evenly moist with no periods of dry or periods of wet soil so some form of watering system helps. Maintain 3-4" of mulch up tp the drip line.

If the label on the hydrangea does not provide the name name of this variety, there may be one more wrinkle. Some of these hydrangeas may not be winter hardy if planted outside but they can be grown in a pot and kept in an unheated garage during winter (water weekly).


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

luis_pr z7/8 Hurst TX (My Page)
Thank you for your insight. The labels claim the plants to be of cultivar "hydrangea merritt's supreme". They are large, vigorous and really beautiful. I hope they are hardy to zone 6b. If not, I might plant them near the house ... also I hope they do not resent slightly wet soil ...


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

You're welcome and yes, it appears to be hardy to Z6 (6a) on the places I checked.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 16:35

I would gradually introduce (harden off) these forced greenhouse plants to slowly accustom them to real weather. They may have never been exposed to frost and could be damaged if taken straight from the Easter table to the garden bed.

Begin by placing them outside for an hour or so, bringing them in at night, and slowly begin leave them for longer periods each day. When you have hardened them off to the weather, and are close to your estimated date of last frost, then put them in the ground. After they have established in your bed they will handle winter temps, but forced for the florists trade these plants have never been as cold as your nights and their tender growth wouldn't welcome the abrupt change.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Ok, problems arose.

I have two pots. For one of them, I put it in a large pot. It stays on a North facing porch. It looks brilliant now.

The other one went into ground on north side of the house. I did not see any circular root so I just put the root ball into the ground. We had several nights of slightly above freezing nights. Initially, the plant looks okay. Then, we had a few dry and windy days ... the sun also shine direct on the plant from 6 pm to 8 pm now.

The leaves appear to have edges dried up. The dried sections are still green but dried up. What could be the problem?

Also, several bulging buds appear to be taken away from the branch. Could this be the work of a squirrel?


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

The browning from the edges inwards could be caused by soil moisture issues, hot days and windy conditions. Make sure the plant has 3-4" of mulch up to the drip line to make the waterings last longer and test the soil using the finger method....

Insert a finger to a depth of 4" and see if the soil feels dry or almost dry. Do this daily, early in the mornings, for about 2-3 weeks. If the soil feels almost dry or dry, give the plant 1 gallon of water and make a note in a wall calendar. After 2-3 weeks, review the notes in the calendar and estimate on vaerage how often you had to water. Was it every 3 days? every 4 days? etc Then set the sprinkler to water 1 gallon per watering on the same frequency (every 3/4/etc days).

Squirrels and deer like to nibble on the buds so yes, it is possible this happened too.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

luis_pr z7/8 Hurst TX
Thank you so much. I will follow your instructions.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

A new observation arises:

Recall the Hydrangea was planted on the North side of the house. Now, it does get direct sun from 6 to 8 pm. The upper side of the leaves turns a purplish colour. I have never seen the leaves of Hydrangea turn purplish as if they got a tan. I assume this is caused by sun.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Can you post pictures? Two thoughts:

Powdery mildew can cause some purplish blotches, particularly on the top of the leaves.

Cercospora leaf spot can also create spots with tan/brown/gray centers and a dark purpleish edges/halo look.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

luis_pr z7/8 Hurst TX,
Ok, I took some pictures.

Please look at the leaves. I know they have been reduced to fractions of their original size. This process took a month. It might be that the leaves never experienced outdoor environment before.

From my reading of the plant, the plant is happy. I post some pictures of new buds as well. Again, this is North side and a moist location.

Please forgive me that I have not mulched it yet. I will do soon.
 photo 002_zps4128c308.jpg

 photo 004_zps856eb337.jpg

 photo 006_zps87973b0b.jpg

 photo 008_zpsbe101f62.jpg

 photo 013_zps4054235d.jpg


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

I forget to mention the larger climate. In our region, deciduous magnolias are in full bloom now. Cherries are not yet blooming. The Hydrangea was planted a little more than a month ago.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

You have cherries? Oooh, I have been tempted to get a cherry tree here but it so hot and the winter mild that I have not convinced myself to fork the money. I also get ooodles of birds eating red berries and can see them calling my cellphone to make an aptmt to eat the cherries. Hee hee hee!

Looking at the pictures, I wonder if you have a phosphorus defficiency. It happens sometimes when the plant gets little of it because the growers want to produce purple-ish blooms. Reminds me of how some hydrangea leaves look in the Fall. Did the original blooms (when your husband bought the plant) were purplish? How about the weather? Did you get frost/cold weather lately?


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

luis_pr z7/8 Hurst TX,
Yes, the flower is purplish red. Yes, there are a couple days below freezing. I guess I should mulch soon to increase phosphorus. Mordern green house growing is like a chemistry lab.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Well, don't add phosphorus unless you can confirm first. There are some cheap kits out there that can help identify problems with nitrogen, phosphorus and pottasium. They are cheap and easy to use. If you can find one, try it out.

Problems with cold temperatures may also be worth checking but they are difficult to track down after the fact. When temperature dips affected my shrubs, the leaves suffered but they did not turn "thaaaat" purple, more like a darker shade of green and I just cut off the damaged leaves. Now your shrubs were not acclimated yet so maybe this is how they are responding. Odd but if no else chimes in, check if the phosphorus is low.

The browned out edges are curious. Not sure if significant (related to a phosphorus problem) or caused by lack of water before the color change.... I observe that problem here in the summer when the plants need more water than usual as temperatures spike to the 100s.

Here is a link that might be useful: phosphorus deficiency


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

luis_pr z7/8 Hurst TX
Thank you so much. I hope it thrive.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Updates:

1 - Is this a flower bud?

 photo elm037_zpsa5e30dff.jpg


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Updates 2 -

I have mulched it - Please do inform me if the mulching was done correctly, any changes ...

 photo elm005_zps01ec915d.jpg

Before the mulching - buds - It appears now that the leaves were burnt because the weather was still too cold.

 photo elm048_zpse82eac89.jpg

 photo elm047_zpsa009ab8d.jpg

 photo elm046_zps35281461.jpg


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Looks good! Take notice the new leaves are much thicker and glossier, more durable and sun tolerant.

That one flower bud coming from the base of that one leaf at the stem technically shouldn't happen, though. That portion of the plant is probably in a confused state after the original bloom was removed. A full and proper 4-season cycle outdoors should straighten that kind of stuff out.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

The plant has not grown any larger but it is blooming beautifully. The color is a rich magenta.

I shall post some pictures soon.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Here is how it looks like today.

I have a question: if I want to move it to a better location, can I do it now? How deep or wide should I dig the root-ball?

 photo Azalea2013-7054_zpsba9fadd8.jpg

 photo Azalea2013-7053_zps34f41c2d.jpg


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Use the original pot to gauge how big of a root ball to extract then double the size. Since you planted it recently, it is impossible that the roots would have doubled in length but, that way, you will be save and limit damage to the roots.

As far as whether to do it now or not, it depends on what your summer weather is like and whether you can keep and eye & water it as needed. Since my summers are harsh, I would hate to transplant anything when temps are in the 100s; in my case, I would wait until the plant has gone dormant and move it during the winter months.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 20:10

My coastal Z8 is cool, often cloudy, and I would not move now unless an emergency. The plant would likely be OK but it would be easier on it if I waited until Fall rains begin.

If I could point out something you may want to correct -
Your hydrangea would do better without the competition for nutrients and water of grass up to the crown and stems. Also, you run the risk of damaging the plant with weedeater or mower keeping that grass short. It would be happier and healthier planted with nothing growing around it and the root zone (think potential size, not it's small size now) mulched. As the mulch breaks down it will slowly feed the soil, in the meantime it helps to keep roots cool and moist, conserves water.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Thank you so much luis_pr and morz8. I was busy and the grass took over. Also, the plant is too close to the house. I will probably have to move it soon. We do have a lot of overcast days.


 o
RE: Easter Hydrangea pots to go into ground

Some more updates before transplanting:

 photo HydrangeaAugust019_zpsbc1a5e73.jpg

 photo HydrangeaAugust021_zps3c0caf87.jpg

 photo HydrangeaAugust024_zps3d8ad2e0.jpg


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hydrangea Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here