Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the August 2005 edition
of the Hydrangeas Plus® e-mail newsletter.
We hope you are all enjoying your summer and your hydrangeas! I can't
believe it's already the middle of August. Time flies by too fast sometimes.
We've had some warmer than normal weather here in the Willamette Valley
during July and the hydrangeas are fading quickly. But, not to fear,
with heat brings the need to give the plants a bit of a haircut so the plant
can focus on growing not hydrating it's blooms. We're propagating quickly
and as soon as possible, we'll put back the varieties that were sold out
soon. I've been trudging through the nursery every week in search of
varieties to put back online. The three-year plants will often return
more quickly than the one year plants, just because we planted them first.
Sometimes the one-year plants will return first if we haven't had a
chance to propagate the three year plants yet. We're very careful to
propagate the right variety. Unfortunately, some of the paniculatas
and Quercifolia may not be big enough for fall shipment. These varieties
typically grow best for us after a good cold winter.
Here are some of the one-year plants we put back online this week...
Serrata Blue Bird
Serrata Blue Billow
Here are some of the three-year plants we put back online this week...
All Summer Beauty
Madame Emile Mouillere
Paniculata Pink Diamond
Generally, the three year plants should be available by September 1st and
the one-year plants by September 15th. If you'd like to be notified
when a particular variety and size is ready, just go to that product online
and enter your email address after clicking on the 'Keep me updated' button
and we'll send you an email when it's ready.
The LADY IN RED (PPAF) are here
We've had lots of questions about new varieties of hydrangeas and we're please
to offer a Dr. Michael Dirr and University of Georgia original. It
took a little while for us to acquire the licensing agreement but next spring,
we'll be offering the Lady in Red hydrangeas! I anticipate we'll have
the one year plants available early next year. We bought some starter
plants just a week ago and while the other hydrangeas are growing like weeds,
we'll have to wait for these new ones to get big enough. This is our
first venture into patented plants so we'll see how successful our first
patented variety will be. We're expect to continue offering Dr. Dirr's
introductions as soon as they are released in the future. This is just
the first of many new and exciting varieties for real life gardens.
We are thrilled to offer you this wonderful hydrangea. I've been growing
a specimen plant for a year and the foliage color is really dynamite. Dr.
Dirr is introducing this first seedling from his first breeding trials. This
is an open pollinated seedling from the wonderful hydrangea Otaksa. This
Lady in Red variety is a strong, vigorous growing hydrangea with lacecap
type blooms of pink or pale blue. The lovely lacecap blooms aren't
finished though. Like many other lacecaps, these will flip upside and
show their red underside. This plant is truly a multi-seasoned hydrangea
- blooms in late spring, aged red blooms in summer and fall color.
This variety was selected for it's fabulous burgundy fall color and it is
mildew resistance even in the southern gardens. Gardeners are going
to love the burgundy leaf veins and stalks, too. Lady in Red is hardy
for zones 6 - 9, needs partial shade (more sun is okay for northern gardens)
and the bloom is slightly pH sensitive. It grows 3 to 5 feet tall and
wide. It reminds me a lot of the serrata family but that may
be the fall leaf color. For a bit more history and information, check
out the website at http://www.ladyinredhydrangea.com.
Added USPS Priority Mail service for shipping your hydrangeas
We finally got the website shopping cart set up for another delivery
option for those of you east of the Rocky Mountains. We're going to
try the USPS Priority Mail service for the fall and see how the plant delivery
goes for you eastern customers. UPS rates just keep going up and up
and even though we are a volume user, we can't get the rates down enough
for my liking. So, until the USPS raise the rates next year, we'll
give it a try. Unfortunately we can't track the package as closely
and there is no guaranteed service but hopefully the plants will be fine.
USPS Priority mail saves anywhere from $5 to $15, depending on the
weight of your plants.
Past Newsletters online
Did you miss a newsletter? We have put all the 2005 newsletters
on the website. It's on the left side of the website.
Request for information - Still looking - HELP!
A customer in Mississippi is having a terrible problem with spider
mites this year. In the Northwest, we don't have this type of trouble
with hydrangeas - it's just too wet here. Does anyone know of a good
consumer product to use for spider mites that is safe for hydrangeas? Thanks!
Information follow-up from last newsletter
I may have offended some people when I talked about the Endless Summer hydrangea
from Baileys Nursery in Minnesota. I was questioning the hardiness
of zone 4. Bailey's Nursery is a very large quality grower and have
one of the best reputations in the world and if they say zone 4 for the Endless
Summer hydrangea, then it's hardy to zone 4 and they'll stand behind their
plant. I have several emails from customers describing their success
stories for the Endless Summer hydrangea growing in their zone 4. Let
me share one with you....
I just read the newsletter and saw your comments about Endless Summer regarding
its hardiness in zone 4. I'm a MN Master Gardener and thought you might
like to hear what MN Master Gardeners and myself experienced with Endless
Summer. Mulching them after the ground freezes seems to be the trick
to have them survive our brutal winters. Last winter we did not have
much snow cover and had some very cold temps (one night it dropped to -29F).
The majority of our Endless Summer hydrangeas survived the winter.
One note - they do take longer than you would expect to break out of dormancy…..patience
is the key. A lot of MN nurseries had to replace Endless Summer for
their customers because they thought they were dead….they were not, a hard
lesson learned. I consider them a high maintenance hydrangea, but worth
it in the long run.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q: I have 4 large pots of Hydrangeas that had pink blooms and blue
blooms. Now they have all turned green. What can I do or what
is the problem?
A: The greening of the hydrangeas is probably the variety. Many of
the paler pinks and blues will turn green. Some of the darker colored
ones too. It's hard to avoid this color change. If you want more
vibrant dried colors, chose other varieties like Hamburg, Altona, Europa,
Marechal Foch, etc. The aging process can be sped up with sunlight,
heat, humidity and over feeding (too much nitrogen).
Q: How do I prune hydrangeas?? How do I take cuttings? when?
A: Pruning hydrangeas depend on the variety. What variety
do you have?
If you need to do more pruning than just deadheading (if the hydrangeas are
floppy and need shaping), do that in the fall about 6 weeks before you expect
your first frost. Cut to the first leaf node of the new growth. Only do this
sever pruning in the fall so that you retain as much of the old growth (what
macrophylla hydrangeas bloom on) as possible. If you have older plants with
lots of dead wood, cut out those totally dead branches all the way to the
ground. You can prune in the spring too - just wait until leaves start forming
and be sure that you don't cut all the leaf nodes off.
Propagate hydrangeas now for cuttings. One leaf node is all you need.
I hope this helps. We have more tips on the website in the hints &
Q: I know little about hydrangeas but he goes. I transplanted a
hydrangea back in Mar. soon after we had a had freeze and the stems died.
It has since grown from the roots and appears to have flowers forming. Should
I fertilize at this point? It seems to be doing ok but the flowers that are
starting are small. Also, my father has a hydrangea that is 50yrs.
old. If I wanted to get a start from this planed, how would I go about it.
It would be transplanted from Va. to Ohio.
A: Yes, fertilize now if you haven't already. Flowers are probably
smaller because of the freeze in March. not to worry.
Now is a great time to propagate. We have some tips in our catalog
and on our website. Hydrangeas root very easily by cuttings.
Cuttings can be placed in well draining media and kept moist (not wet).
You may even lay a branch (still attached to the plant) on the ground and
it will root in just a few weeks. Once the roots start to form, snip
the branch away from the original and transplant.
Q: My tree hydrangea is blooming quite well, in fact,
it seems heavier on top from the overwhelming growth. What is the best
way to: either trim or put up some sort of poles and rope to anchor it?
A: It's best to prune in the spring - that will make the blooms a little
bit smaller than pruning in the fall. You can prune heavily as the
Paniculatas bloom on new wood and will bloom no matter when you prune.
Be sure that you leave at least one leaf node when pruning.
Staking may be necessary for the hydrangea tree. Over time, it will
be stronger. Stake the tree loosely to a strong stake. This will
allow the tree to bend a little with the wind. The bending & swaying
will make the tree stronger.
For now, just cut off the stems and bring the beautiful blooms inside to
enjoy. Wait until the bloom ages a little. Paniculatas usually
age a little bit pink when they are ready to dry.
Q: I have an old variegated, green with white, formerly
blooming blue hydrangea that I moved to Murfreesboro from Memphis, TN in
2002. It has not bloomed since. Any ideas or fixes? It
looks healthy, has increased in size, but has not bloomed since transplanting.
Also, I was told that my white Tardiva variety bloomed on new wood and could
be pruned in the fall to reshape. It is August and I see only one puny
bloom developing. The same for my Limelight only it has no blooms at
all. Do they bloom on old wood?
They both get dappled sunlight and are large with healthy green leaves.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A: Sometimes transplanted hydrangeas need time in the ground to
bloom. They sometimes need time to adjust to new surroundings.
Other reasons why hydrangeas don't bloom are 1) too much pruning 2) too much
freezing temperatures early fall or late spring 3) old stems die back to
the ground every year and only new growth is from the base 3) too much fertilizer
4) too much shade.
The Paniculatas bloom on new wood (unlike your variegated one that blooms
on old wood). You should be able to prune in the late fall or the early
spring and get blooms. They may need more sun. The Paniculatas
are known for being shy bloomers in lots of shade. Also, Paniculatas do bloom
a bit later than the macrophyllas. The Paniculatas are usually in bloom
by late July or early August and last all fall, changing to pink, red, burgundy,
depending on the variety.
Q: I saw one in Washington, being sold at a grocery store, it said
the grower was half moon bay california...I can't find one anywhere here
at home. Any ideas?
A: I bought one a few years ago and it acts just like the Fuji
Waterfall that we sell. I should have more in September.
The Shooting Star name is patented by the Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon
Bay, California. I bought mine at Trader Joes. I think they are
both the same plant as Hanabi, a Japanese favorite that has it's name Trademarked
so everyone keeps naming it something else. It's so confusing for customers,
I know. If I didn't have both and grow them side by side, I'd have
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