Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,


Welcome to the August 2008 e-mail newsletter for Hydrangeas Plus®.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and your hydrangeas are blooming and blooming.   We've been doing a little housecleaning around here.  We have upgraded our website shopping cart to the latest and greatest version.  If you've done a search for our website through Google, you'll notice a nasty note that says 'This site may harm your computer'.  The generic search for our website has been hijacked.  We are diligently working to get this cleared up but working with Google has been a nightmare.  Of course the pay search is working just fine and putting dollars in their pockets.  When in doubt just type in our address of click here to visit our website  Unfortunately, this has happened to other companies so we are weighing our options at this point.  I just vibrate every time I think about it.  Especially with all the advertising dollars we have spent with this company.  Argh.


Okay, I digress.  I did miss July newsletter but I did do a video tour of the nursery.  Since I couldn't get myself organized for a tour when the plants looked good, before the heat, I did take some video and was hoping to upload to YouTube.  I'm the hydrangealady.  So appropriate because that's what the garden club around here call me.  'Oh, ask the hydrangea lady to speak, she sells plants, too!!'  I really will get that uploaded and you can see some of the live action here at the nursery.  I'll get that going sooner or later.  When do the kids go back to school?  September?  Pencil me in for September.  Right now I just have my best friend's 40th birthday party and a visit from some Turkeys and Peacocks at the nursery.  I know, exciting stuff for us country folk.  Just take a look at


I'm out there every few weeks checking on those cultivars and doing the grow dance.  The 1 year plants are just getting potted up into the containers so those won't be rooted until next year but most the 2 year and 3 year plants will be ready this fall.  Just email me if you're waiting for something.  I'll let you know when I put it back in stock.  With our upgrade, the notification of 'back in stock' wasn't available so I'm back to manual transmission for that one.

Le Tour Des Plants - September 13th - 21st, 2008

Yes, that time of the year.  This year the Oregon Association of Nurseries has 46 nurseries and garden centers locations on the tour.  You locals and non-locals must see this.  It's going to be the third year for this fabulous program.  It's a self-guided tour of the niche nurseries and garden centers in Oregon and SW Washington.  Fall is a great time to plant shrubs (check your local extension office to make sure it's good for your zone).  Our NW fall is full of liquid sunshine ready to supply those new shrubs with the H20 they need to get established.  Check out the website at for participating nurseries and all the fabulous events going on around the nursery world.

We will have fabulous prices (like 20 to 30% off retail prices) and lots of seminars to help you become an expert on hydrangeas.  Well, not too much of an expert because, why would you need me?  All Day Every Day special is free bag of Hydrangeas Plus® Fertilizer or Hydrangeas Plus® Lime with any $50 purchase.  

Hours and events are as followed

Weekday, noon to 4pm
Weekends, 10am to 5pm

September 13 - Kickoff for LeTour Des Plants
Opening day contest - enter to win $100 Gift Certificate for Hydrangeas Plus
10am - cut flower demonstration
1pm - pruning demonstration (will put this on You Tube at a later date)
2pm - Guided tour with me through the nursery

September 14
1pm - pruning demonstration
2pm - pruning demonstration

September 15-19  -  weekdays - no events planned but open noon to 4pm

September 20
10am - Meet Paul Simmons, my favorite customer and Kiwi/Kiwi honey guy of K&B Farms
1pm - pruning demonstration
2pm - Guided tour with me through the nursery

September 21
2pm - pruning demonstration
3pm - pruning demonstration

FREE SHIPPING for fall orders (over $199)

That time of the year again, we're offering free shipping for your orders OVER $199 in September, October and November.  Use the Coupon Code FREE SHIP after you've added the products to your shopping cart (that's just 5 of our 3 year plants, on average at retail price) and in the cart, under 'Redeem a discount coupon, type FREE SHIP.  Continue shopping or fill out your customer information after that.  You won't notice anything on the cart that says you have the coupon in place.  Other than shipping cost will be zero.  These orders must ship in September, October or November of this year, 2008.  If you have trouble using the coupon, just type me a note in the special shipping instructions and I can adjust this at my end.  

2009 catalog

Yep, we're gearing up for the next catalog.  the number IX, nueve, nine, three squared, number of cat's lives, nine ball, famous love potion #, title 9, ten minus one.

Getting a little carried away but a lot of pressure as you can see for myself and my graphix designer (yet to be hired).  Lots of thought and effort go into these catalogs.  Volume 8 actually celebrated our 15th year in business so this will be our 16th year, sweet sixteen.  Oh gads, another biggie.  Anyhow, please let us know your address changes.  If you didn't get a catalog this year or you haven't ordered in a few years, let me know and I'll make sure your address is up to date.  We spend a good deal getting the catalog just right and I don't want you to miss out!

Questions and Answers - these are from the last few months that many of you may be too shy to ask

Q:   I would like to transplant my mop head hydrangeas and would like to know if fall would be the best time. I have two I would like to just switch places. They have been in the ground for 4 years. Thanks Cathi in OH
A:  I would suggest early September when it starts getting cool nights.  You can also do it in the spring.
Macrophylla hydrangeas have fairly shallow roots so don't worry about getting too deep.  Mulch the newly transplanted hydrangeas really well this winter just in case the roots don't get totally established in time for winter.
If you get a cool spell, (does that ever happen in Ohio)  you can transplant any time but be sure you give the roots extra water.  Not so they are drenched but just keep them moist.

Q:  How and when is a good time to trim a hydrangea tree?

A:  I like to prune in the spring.  That way, the blooms are smaller and the plant doesn't bend with its weight.
I prune the tree pretty hard, again, so the weight of the blooms don't bend the stems.  Typically, our tree puts on 4 feet of growth each year (yes, it's very happy).  I cut off 3 feet, right above a node or a branching stalk.  It looks pretty naked but comes back just beautiful.  I wait until I see nodes in the spring though.
You may prune the same way in the fall if it's more convenient.  Same way, just do it while it's still green but after the blooms have changed colors (you can bring in the blooms for dried flowers).  The Paniculata family of hydrangeas bloom on new wood so don't worry about cutting off your blooms like you risk with the Macrophylla mopheads and lacecaps.
I hope that helps.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

We have over 100 hydrangea bushes here, several from your fine company. About 45 of them are Nikko Blue and another common blue variety and are 9 years old. This year, we have had a banner bloom year (after last year's lackluster one due to late frost and early heat wave), HOWEVER, the nice blue/lavender blooms are almost completely faded to a creamy/greenish/pale. I have never observed this particular color transformation and it seems to have happened very early. Our blooms usually start to age to a pretty greenish in September. This year's fading is not only early but an unusual color (cream). My pink varieties (Glowing Embers etc) are not fading at all. Any insights into why this might occur?  

A:  I think it's a combination of heat and amendments.  If you over fertilize or add aluminum sulfate to the soil, the blooms age faster.  If you have early and hot weather, the blooms fade faster.  The Nikko Blue (Endless Summer, All Summer Beauty and all those other remonant cultivars) do that more often and quicker than the European bred varieties (Glowing Embers, et all).
We're having a really unusual year here.  The blooms are so small.  I can't remember a year when this has happened.  We had a really strange weather year.  Very chilly for most of the spring, late frost followed by record heat in early May.

Q:  Several years ago I purchased a number of small plants from you for my home in RI. They are all doing wonderfully and I am extremely pleased with the beautiful blooms and the ongoing health of the plants. About 3 years ago I also purchased a climbing hydrangea (unfortunately not from you) which has failed to bloom. I am told that the plant needs more than 3-4 hours of sun each day. Since I want to place a climbing hydrangea in that spot, do you have a recommendation for a variety that will bloom with 3-4 hours of sun each day? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

A:  I'm just thrilled the plants are doing well for you.   You should take the credit, however.
The trick for the climbing hydrangea to bloom is height.  What do you have it climbing on?  Trellis?  Tree?
My theory is that as soon as the climbing hydrangea reaches the apex of structure, it will bloom.  After years of growing climbing hydrangeas, it finally dawned on me that the ones that bloomed the soonest were the ones we had growing on stakes (2.5 feet or so).  We would usually stake about half our crop.  The ones on the stakes bloomed, the others would not bloom. 
Be patient with those climbers.  Fertilize and keep them healthy.  When they are ready, they will bloom for you.

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®