Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,


Welcome to the April 2014 edition of the Hydrangeas Plus¨ e-mail newsletter.  Happy Tax Day!


WhatÕs happening at Hydrangeas Plus¨


I hope you all have a great spring.  WeÕre really getting busy here so be sure to leave a message or send me an email if you have a question.  IÕll get back to you as soon as I can.  Thursdays are usually a good day to call.  Remember we do mail order on Monday so I label the boxes and have to turn around and get Tuesday orders queued so please be patient.  I call that day crazy Monday, as if Mondays werenÕt bad enough for just being a Monday.


We hope that you have hydrangeas on the brain!  We are starting to see some buds on the serrata and early blooming macrophylla types.  ItÕs a little early for us but with the beautiful (non-rain) weather weÕve been having, it is no wonder these plants are flourishing.


Kristin was a little late getting this newsletter together.  Sorry for being so tardy.  IÕm coaching my daughterÕs spring soccer team again and weekends are so full!


Spring Overstock sale Đ BIG BIG SALE


Sale is April 26 Đ May 10, 10am to 4pm daily only here at the nursery.  DonÕt miss out.  IÕm not sure what we will have but come and find out.  Sale prices are only good at the nursery.  We grow more than just hydrangeas.  This is our annual ŌSpring CleaningĶ sale where we sell everything we have left over and make room for more plants. 


Our address is 6543 S. Zimmerman Road Aurora OR 97002 and directions can be found here  No presales will be allowed and we ask that pets stay at home for safety reasons.


Every hydrangea wonÕt be on sale but we will have our retail area set up for browsing on the weekends when we can staff it.  We are selling out of lots of varieties so feel free to order now and pickup during our open hours.


Sale Đ Free shipping


For those of you unable to come to Oregon for our sale, we are offing for a very limited time, free shipping off orders of $199 or greater. This offer is good just April 15th  to May 1st (not retroactive to shipped orders Đ sorry).  Orders must ship before June 3rd, 2014 and is good to continental US addresses only!  ItÕs a coupon code and if you have trouble using the coupon just let me know. 


Use the coupon code, FREE (below your shopping cart) once your order has reached $199 (thatÕs just five three-year hydrangeas).  You wonÕt be able to see the coupon is accepted and in effect until your reach the check out stage.  If there is an error with the coupon, you will get a purple box at the top of your shopping cart that says Ôyou have entered an incorrect coupon code!Õ.   But again, if you have trouble, just email or call and I can fix it for you.


Working and office schedule


WeÕre off and running, literally this time of the year.  If the internet ordering isnÕt for you, youÕre not alone and weÕre here for you.  If IÕm not in the office or on the other line, please leave a message or email me at [email protected].  IÕm a working owner, the big boss, the lone office employee and I like to get my hands dirty and not sit inside and do paper pushing on sunny days.  But IÕm never far away.  Mondays are totally crazy now with mail order frenzy but otherwise, I try to stay in the office when I'm not chauffeuring the kids to school and activities.


A few questions and answers from the last few weeks. 


Q.  A friend decided to "help" in my garden last year and pruned a number of hydrangeas while I was sick. Quite a few died or never bloomed. What can I do to support the survivors? Can I safely deadhead ones that bloomed even marginally? I notice in my backyard that the plants that were performing well got more sun. ... I am new to your site and have made some selections for replacements. I have spots for both large and smaller varieties. Any suggestions? I am heartbroken since a number of them were planted in memory of friends and family.


A.  You can't really pick a bad hydrangea!  They love our Pacific NW with all the rain, lack of humidity and generally cooler temperatures.  Hydrangeas tend to be blue/purple for us due to our acidic soil.

Some of my favorites(this week) are

Marechal Foch

Merritt's Beauty


Alpengluhen (or Glowing Embers)


Mini Penny

All Summer Beauty

To help the survivors, mulch the base so that new shoots can grow.  Sever pruning often causes the plant to go into overdrive so don't forget to make additional nutrition available, now.  Fertilizer with a balanced mix of NPK, like 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 is good.  Not too high on the nitrogen (N) or else you'll get lots of green growth quickly.  Keep them watered if mother nature doesn't help with that part. 

Most plants should come back unless there was a really cold snap shortly after pruning or if they cut below the lowest leaf node on the stem.  Hopefully they will come back eventually but in the meantime, just keep them fed and watered.


Q.  My flowers bloom in the spring, very vibrant colors then by mid summer I lose all color and the mop heads turn brown. I have a sprinkler system so the plants get a lot of water. I never lost a plant, just the flowers turning brown. I have never added any amendments since they were planted in 2008 nor pruned them for fear of them not flowering the following year. They are getting quite large and I would like to cut them back. These are Endless Summer¨ hydrangeas.  Can you tell me what may cause this?


A.  Could it be that the blooms are burning in the sun?  They may need some shade as the hot sun tends to drain the pigments from the petals.

Most hydrangeas can take a lot of sun but some varieties tend to hold up poorly in lots of sun.  To some extent, more water on the hot days can help but not completely cure the browning of the petals.

Another reason that hydrangeas lose their pigments is too much amendment.  I have found that if I over do the aluminum sulfate, the pigments fade faster.

Do you ever lose the whole plant?  That can happen in hot, humid climates when the plant is over watered.  The roots shut down after drowning and the bloom is usually the first to show decline as the blooms turn to brown. 


Pruning should be done after flowering so that you don't lose bloom.  Some of the new wood blooming varieties have a tendency to fade faster, too.  These bloom on the new wood so feel free to prune a little in early spring but not more that a few leaf nodes.  Prune a lot after bloom (probably through September is alright).  The Endless Summer can sometimes generate a 2nd bloom in the fall if you cut off those brown ones in July, too.

I have heard this a lot - blooms turning brown - from folks in the eastern part of the country on these hydrangeas.  I think it has been the heat and humidity during the past few summers that has contributed to their browning.  These new wood bloomers are more affected by the hot weather than some of the old wood blooming varieties that have darker pigments.


Try to resist the urge to over water the hydrangeas during the hottest part of the day.  Early morning or late, late at night is best.  But, some hot afternoons will cause them to wilt; I'll bet but try to avoid the watering at that time.  I think that contributes to the browning as well.



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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus¨