Any tips on Hydrangeas?

vfem

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Trimming is tricky I learned! Only trim the branches that have already bloomed for you. Any other pruning will destroy the buds set from the previous year. The buds set the year prior for the next year's bloom, and you really can't even see those buds until the bush has gone into dormancy. I trimmed too early one year and got no blooms the following year. Works with all varieties of hydrangea. I have the ball type and lace.

I love switching them up!

Also acid content in the soil changes the color, so you can add Lyme to the soil to lower acid and change your blooms from one color to the next. I like doing this each year because it makes for awesome changes to the front garden. I just add the lyme or I add coffee grounds in piles over the winter starting in fall to make sure it takes before bloom.

Have fun!
 

cwhit590

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HotPepperQueen said:
I have tried growing Hydrangeas before but they either die or only bloom every other year. Any suggestions?
You're in MN? What hardiness zone are you in? Are hydrangeas hardy in your area?

If you want to grow the pink or blue mophead types and get reliable blooms in the north, you need to look for one of the newer varieties that will bloom on NEW wood, like Endless Summer. A lot of people around here in MI that have the older varieties of mopheads (that bloom on old wood) are disappointed year after year when their hydrangeas don't bloom...the cold winters kill that old wood!
The white Annabelle hydrangea is a reliable bloomer here in southwest MI.
The mophead types and Anabelle both die back close to the ground each winter here...always wait till spring to trim them back...find where the new green shoots are emerging then cut off the dead stalks above that point.

The paniculata-type hydrangeas are quite hardy (to zone 3), and they bloom reliably here. They are more shrub-like. They prefer more sun and they can tolerate drier conditions than some of the pink/blue kinds. I'm thinking that might be the best type to try in MN! Some popular varieties are Peegee, Limelight, Pink Diamond, Pinky Winky, etc.
 

HotPepperQueen

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I want to grow BellaAnna's and a newer dwarf variety that I saw in a catalog but I can't remember the name right now. I live in zone 3b. I have a Limelight right now and it only blooms every other year (and the blooms aren't all that pretty either) Maybe i'm doing the pruning wrong :idunno
 

thistlebloom

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Oooh, I want the Bella Annas too! I think you could grow them in z3 if you cut them down in the fall and mulch heavily. They're rated to
z4.
I cut them back( the annabelles ) to 4 inches every fall because I think the bare stems sticking up with the spent blooms are ugly. The bad part of doing it that way is that the stems don't fatten up a lot and they can droop when the blooms get rained on. I just cage them in black wire rings early in the season to fix that.

Your limelight is a paniculata ( aka PeeGee ) and hardy to z3 (as cwhit said ). They can take full sun, especially up north, and you should never need to prune it, other than to cut out dead wood. There's some beautiful colors out. I have Pink Diamonds and I love the way the blooms change colors as they mature.
 

thistlebloom

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Well 'Queen, there's considerable difference between z5 and z3, about 20*. I don't think it's too likely that it would be successful in the ground.
I can think of a few options you could try if your willing to gamble. Well actually it's only one - that would be to plant it in a container and bring it in to an insulated garage (not heated necessarily ) once it has gone dormant.

If you wanted it to look like it's growing in the ground you could replant it in a nursery container that's a couple of sizes bigger than the one it came in, and sink the whole thing in the ground. Then pull it up in the late fall and store in a garage until spring.

It's a dwarf so pulling it in and out of the garden wouldn't be too much trouble I think. Of course you could also plant it in an attractive pot and display it that way in your garden. It's a macrophylla and they freeze back to the roots even in z5. But it's a new cultivar that blooms on old and new wood so even if it froze back in the garage you would still get blooms.
 

ducks4you

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I'm hijacking.
SIL brought me a 2 1/2 ft tall CLEARANCE (probably) Hydrangea. I put it on my east facing porch, and was planning on planting this weekend. I thought I could wait until the weekend to get it into the ground, but didn't know where, yet. Looked at it this morning and it was wilting, including all 7-8 blooms. I didn't have time to pot or plant this morning, so I took it out of it's pot and put it in a half full, 5-gallon water (painting type) bucket in a semi-shaded area for the day. It's really potbound. Do you think it may survive until this evening? I figured out where to plant it on the drive to work.
Frustrated. Gee whiz, WHY do they sell some of these things in such wretched shape. :smack :somad
 

catjac1975

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Hydrangeas Bloom on last years wood.If your winters are very cold you may have to mulch them to keep them from freezing to the ground. Blue bush types should be pruned in early spring to 3 leaf nodes. The tree and old fashioned snow balls should be pruned after they bloom.
HotPepperQueen said:
I have tried growing Hydrangeas before but they either die or only bloom every other year. Any suggestions?
 
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