Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,

Welcome to 2005!
Welcome to the February 2005 edition of Hydrangeas Plus® newsletter.  We here at Hydrangeas Plus are so excited for the season to start.  The weather is cooperating nicely.  Our winter in the Willamette Valley has been unseasonable warm.  Again!  We hit a record breaking 66 degrees last week and plants are beginning to wake up.  We expect our rainy days to start anytime.  Oops, there it goes as I write.

We'll start shipping again soon.  With this warm weather, we may start shipping sooner than later.  Especially with the warm weather we are having now.  It's like March temperatures already.  We usually the second week of February that we begin shipping but it really depends on the weather.  We'll keep you posted on the website with a more definite shipping season start date but it may be a last minute decision.  

We've updated the website to include the new varieties.   All those pictures and updating the website has taken me quite a while.  I'm still working on them but I'll make all the new varieties available for sale on February 1st.  We're hoping our catalog will be in the mail by then, too.  

Special Discounts for February ONLY
We're offering our largest discounts of the year.  For all orders over $100, get 10% off the cost of plants and amendments.  But, we didn't stop there.  If you order over $200 worth of plants and amendments, get 20% off.  If you order over $300, get 30% off the cost of plants and amendments.  Finally, for orders over $400, get 40% off the cost.  Sorry, these discounts can't be applied to shipping costs and is only applicable to online orders.  Remember, this is only for February so get those orders in early.

New varieties
We are offering many new varieties in our fantastic new catalog and website for 2005.  These varieties are in limited supply and will sell quickly so order quickly. Order early so we don't sell out of your first choice.  Be sure to select an estimated ship date with your order. We don't want to ship the plants before your last frost date has past.

Macrophylla Bottstein – Crowded red blooms on a wonderful semi dwarf shrub
This is one of those plants in the nursery that doesn't disappoint anyone.  This relatively unknown variety is very popular with the cut flower and potted hydrangea growers because it just blooms and blooms and the colors are intense. 

Macrophylla Horben – tightly packed blooms on this gorgeous bloom
The foliage on this variety is sturdy and will withstand some afternoon sun.  We grow this variety as a purple but it is easily changed to pink or blue and just as lovely.  The blooms are usually one of the first varieties to bloom for us in the nursery.

Macrophylla Princess Juliana – Crowned Queen of the white blooming hydrangeas
This variety is named for the modest and beloved Queen of the Netherlands who passed away in Fall, 2004.  We've found it blooms reliably every year (even young plants) and has dark green foliage that isn't as susceptible to the other white hydrangea ailments like sun scorch and mildew.  Blooms age pink to red in the fall.

Macrophylla Red Star – Don't let the name fool you
This wonderful compact hydrangea will be deep dark blue in acidic soil and deep red in neutral soil.  This hydrangea can take good sun in all but the most southern gardens.  We have grown this for years and it's a favorite of the forced hydrangea growers for its strong upright stems and the ease in which it blooms. 

Paniculata Webb – Great big white flowers on strong stems
A large cousin of the famous Paniculata Grandiflora or PeeGee, this wonderful Paniculata is very rare and hard to find which is such a shame.  We love the large heads that stand up better than other Paniculatas.  Be sure this one gets lots of sun as too much shade will limit the blooms.

Seamanii (sē-mon-ē-ī) - Mid summer dream—and winter, too (in climber section)
This rare evergreen climber from Mexico with great glossy leaves is the most amazing hydrangea we've seen.  The leaves are thick and slightly ovate and a great contrast to white pods that open to a delicate white lacecap.  White sterile flowers surround white fertile florets that open with white corymbs. 

Serrata Miyama Yae Murasaki – A midsummer double bloomer
Rich colors of purple to blue double petaled flowers are just stunning on this 4 foot plant.  Its blooms sit on long pedicals producing a waterfall like effect.  We usually see blooms in mid summer. 

Serrata Pretty Maiden – We haven't seen anything like this one
This serrata's blooms looks dainty but are really stout.  Our stock bloomed the first
year in the nursery with double to triple blooms on this lovely lacecap.  Flowers are pink to very pale lavender and will bloom early in the summer.

January's features were
Quercifolia Alice – A wonderful seedling from Dr. Michael Dirr
Quercifolia PeeWee – Compact form of beloved Oakleaf family
Quercifolia Snowflake – Our favorite Oakleaf hydrangea
Quercifolia Snow Giant – Large double blooms on this wonderful Oakleaf
Quercifolia Snow Queen – Blooms stand upright on this majestic Oakleaf

December's features were
Arborescens Radiata - Lacecap version of popular ‘Annabelle’
Aspera Robusta – The Granddaddy of the Asperas
Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ - A beautiful climbing cousin of Petiolaris

November's features were
Macrophylla Blue Danube – Large blue blooms on this prolific plant
Serrata Diadem – The crown jewel of Serrata
Macrophylla Fuji Waterfall - Cascades of double white blooms

Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland, OR - Where Ideas Grow

We are participating in this wonderful show again.  Hydrangeas Plus will be selling 30 to 40 varieties of hydrangeas from our of booth.  Our booth numbers are 1736 & 1738 right across from the Rose Garden featuring the 2005 AARS winners in bloom!  Please come visit us and place your orders for spring or buy some new hydrangeas to take home.  We're offering the hydrangeas at below catalog prices so it will be a great time to pick up those hydrangeas you've been looking for at a great price.

If you haven't been to the Yard, Garden & Patio show, it will be more than worth the cost of the ticket.  Not only will you grow some ideas of your own with wonderful new varieties and colorful plants but ProGrass, the featured sponsor, is giving away a yard makeover to a lucky household in the Metro area.  There is a wonderful gazebo being given away by Garden Gallery Ironworks, worth over $5000.  There will be 10 beautifully landscaped gardens, professional and amateur container contests (with recipes available), a wine tasting Pavilion with 16 wineries and almost 60 hours of FREE seminars with speakers from all over the world, United States & the Northwest.   Even yours truly will be speaking on Friday at 3:30pm in the Marquam Room.

Sunday is the Kids Digs, our first kid's day event.  We're having six wonderful activities aimed at getting young people excited about the world of gardening. Bring the young people in your life to the show.  Come see the Oregon Garden Dino Dig, decorate clay tiles with Come Clay with Me, bee keeping techniques with Ruhl Bees, puppet shows and other cool kid stuff.

The show is February 18, 19 & 20th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Hours are 10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday then 10am – 6pm on Sunday.  Admission is $11, free to kids 12 and under.  Watch for coupons for discount admission in the Oregonian newspaper.  Join us at Portland's True Garden Event produced by your friendly Green Industry people at the Oregon Association of Nurseries.

Northwest Hydrangea Club  - New Garden Club just for hydrangeas  
After all these years, I've finally been motivated to start a Northwest hydrangea growers club.   If you're interested in helping me get the word out, join or help organize, please let me know.  My dream is to include quarterly meetings, newsletters, summer garden tours, cutting exchanges and most important - share the love of hydrangeas with more friends & family.  

Commonly Asked Questions

Q:  I just have a quick question. I live in Massachusetts so I obviously won't have my plants shipped until May. However, can I place my order now so that the varieties I want won't be sold out in May? Also, will my credit card be charged at the time of placing my order or at the time of shipment?

A:  Yes, we do recommend that you order early to avoid missing out of your first choice.  We will communicate with you before we ship to ensure the weather is all right.  We would appreciate you giving us an estimated ship date, however because you know your weather best.  I try to keep up with the weather but there are always areas that are warmer or colder than the internet tells me.

We won't charge you card until we ship.

Q:  There are a couple of these listed with either 1 year or 3 year next to the name.  What does that mean?

A:  The one year plants are growing in one gallon containers.  We don't ship them in containers so make sure that when you ask us to ship your order now or at a later date, you are prepared to put them into the ground right away.  The one year plants are about 6 to 18" tall depending on variety and depending on when we ship.  the three year plants are growing in three gallon containers and are about 10 - 24" tall depending on variety and when we ship.  Right now they are leafless and dormant but in just a month, they'll start to grow and can grow up to 3 feet in one year.

Q:  I live in southwest Georgia (Zone 8) and am planning a hydrangea garden.  The area I have chosen gets morning sun and filtered sun throughout the day.  The area is approximately 50' x 50' and surrounds a large pecan tree and is bordered on two sides by tall hedges.  This plot holds moisture fairly well (soil here typically drains well and is sand and clay mix)  I would appreciate your recommendations regarding specimens, etc.  I know that Oakleaf is native to my area and I am interested in plants that have been historically hardy in my zone.

A:  The area sounds perfect!!  I don't know where to start.

Are you interested in mopheads, lacecaps, other varieties?  How about height?

My favorite varieties vary but here are some of my all time favorites
Serrata Beni Gaku
Serrata Blue Deckle
Macrophylla Enziandom
Macrophylla Miss Belgium
Involucrata Tama Azisai

regular size
Macrophylla Brestenburg
Macrophylla Mathilda Gutges
Paniculata Unique
Macrophylla Rotdrossel
Macrophylla Nachtigall

Q:  Hello Hydrangeas Plus....I was shopping on your web site and noticed your fertilizer.  It is 10-8-8.  My question is Is this the correct mix of NPK that is conducive to growing hydrangeas?  Also,  your soil amendments.  I have been told that the amendments  break down in the soil very slowly.  What about yours--I need to lower my ph here in Louisiana and I want to know what the breakdown rate for your products is?

A:  The fertilizer mix and amendments we sell are great for hydrangeas.
There is a direct correlation between absorption of nutrients and the pH of the soil.  The idea pH for absorption is about 5.0 to 6.0 (7 is neutral) so if your soil is more alkaline than that, the breakdown doesn't really matter.  It's more important to get absorption up so you don't have to fertilize as much.
Our fertilizer mix is a time release product that will last 3 to 4 months in 70 degree weather and daily watering.  If the temperature is higher, the fertilizer will breakdown and release faster.
Q:  I am anxious to know which hydrangeas will do well in Florida. Would you advise me please.
I have three plants now but one has a problem I do not know how to deal with. The leaves are turning somewhat pale and spotted. As long as it was in a pot it did beautiful but when I put it in the ground it has done poorly. Every once in a while it looks like a spider web is developing on it but no site of spiders. Would you give me some clue as to what is happening?

A:  As far as the hydrangea and the leaf problem, check the pH of your soil.  That sounds like poor soil or soil that doesn't have enough nutrients.  Many areas of Florida have very alkaline soil which causes poor absorption of nutrients.  In you can lower the pH of the soil and make nutrients more readily available, the leaves will have better color.

In terms of the webs, it may be spider mites.  It is my understanding, these are microscopic spiders.  Check with your local garden center, too.  They may know exactly what you're talking about and have a cure.  

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®