Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,

Welcome to 2006!
Welcome to the February 2006 edition of Hydrangeas Plus® newsletter.  We here at Hydrangeas Plus are excited that the growing season is starting so early.  The weather is cooperating nicely - if you don't count rain, wind, power outages, branches all over the road, did I mention rain?.  Our winter in the Willamette Valley has been warm again.  We have a sunny week ahead with temperatures in the 60s!!

We hit a record breaking rain for January this year.  On January 31st it was almost 11 inches - more than double the normal rainfall.

We starting shipping the last week in January.  The hydrangeas are looking fantastic and leafing out ever so slightly.  There is a chance for another frost but it seems less likely with every 55 degree day we have.

Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland, OR - Outdoor Envy

We are participating in this wonderful show again.  Hydrangeas Plus will be selling 30 to 40 varieties of hydrangeas from our booth.  Our booth numbers are 1228 & 1230 right behind the largest indoor lake featured in any garden show.  Ever!  The lake is measuring 80 feet by 100 feet and about 2 feet deep.  There are four professionally designed gardens surrounding the lake with special interest plants provided by Proven Winners as well as other features from northwest growers.  Eamon Hughes of Hughes Water Garden is building a 20 foot waterfall so don't miss any of these talented designers.  Three other beautifully landscaped gardens will also be on display on the show floor.

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.  Including our new offerings!

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 get some ideas to cure your envy or increase your neighbor's envy of your own yard with wonderful new plant varieties, old varieties used in new ways and many more outdoor living concepts.  There are over 275 exhibitors at this year's show.  There are over 50 hours of FREE seminars with world famous and talented local speakers including yours truly on Saturday at 2:00pm in the Burnside Room.   Don't miss the fabulous container contest or plant fashion show.  Yes, I said fashion show.  Complete with emcee and paparazzi blazing the trail with flashes.  The wine pavilion will feature 20 wineries selling their wares and Kid's Digs will return on Sunday in the convention center lobby.  There is no better place to be to get ready for Spring 2006!  There is also many amazing prizes being given away at this year's show:  Dinner with the local Garden Show personalities (Mike Darcy, Mallory Gwynn, and Kym Pokorney).  We are also coordinating several contests in conjunction with local TV and radio stations including, the dash for plants.

The show is February 24, 25 & 26th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Hours are 10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday then 10am – 6pm on Sunday.  Watch for $3/$2 off admission coupons in the Oregonian and at all Fred Meyer stores (also available online).  Admission is $11, free to kids 12 and under.  Join us at Portland's True Garden Event.  That's the Oregon Convention Center.  Remember, this is the show that is developed, marketed and presented by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.  It's largest consumer gardening event in the US that is exclusively produced by a state association and volunteers.  Come out and support your local green ware companies.

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.  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.

Shipping costs back online
UPS has come back with a great deal for us that is very comparable to the USPS costs. I've loaded the new costs into the shopping carts.  

A few customers have called and asked if we can ship to their location.  We can ship everywhere in the United States, Canada including Puerto Rico.  We have been regularly inspected by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture so there are NO restrictions.  We are lucky to have such a pro-active state agriculture department.

If you have trouble ordering online, just call and we can take your order over the phone.  Be sure that you click through the checkout process so that the shipping costs will calculate.

New varieties
We are offering new varieties on the website for 2006.  Here are a few new offerings to get you excited for the new year.  We are constantly looking for new varieties, too.  I have some new hydrangea contacts so look for new offerings later in the year.

Lady in Red - Attract attention! This distinctive new hydrangea will add to the beauty of your garden with color and style all season long. ‘Lady in Red’ Hydrangea has lacecap flowers that open a pinkish white (pale blue in acidic conditions) and turn a lush burgundy rose as they mature. The foliage is rich reddish purple in the fall with distinctive red stems and veins throughout the growing season. A compact mounded habit, high mildew resistance, and sturdy stems make ‘Lady in Red’ a special part of anyone's garden.

Koby - This is our own homegrown sport from Nikko Blue.  It is named after our Foreman's basketball crazy son.  Can you tell what his favorite team is?  Laker fans unite!  Anyway, this large growing hydrangea has the biggest flower in our garden.  It surpassed even Goliath and Paris in bloom size over the last few years.  In just a few years, this specimen is over 5 feet tall!  It will require lots of shade to keep the wonderful pale blue or pink blooms from scorching.  The leaves are more tapered in shape, a bit more rough to the touch and more lime green than other cultivars.

Hornli - Another dwarf!!  I can't believe I'm saying this.  We've grown this variety for a few years and I'm so impressed.  This Switzerland bred dwarf grows slowly and very compact.  But blooms and blooms all season long.  This will rival Pia for ultimate compact hydrangea.  The blooms remind me of pia but are not as carmine pink.  I would say they are bit more orange red.  I hope we have grown enough of this beautiful little plant.  This is the ultimate shrub for a small garden or container.

Office hours
How can I specify my office hours.  Hmmmm.  I am generally in the office everyday but remember, when you call you're talking with the owner or our immediate family and not some customer service representative that know nothing about hydrangeas. Be patient with us - as long as you leave the correct phone number and I can understand your message, I will get back to you within a few days.  If you don't hear back, please try again.  Or email us.  I do answer every question on email and it's usually quicker than call backs. But, check the email address.  I am at or directly at  Be sure to type in your email address correctly if using our online form from the website.  You cannot believe the number of email messages I respond to that bounce due to incorrectly typed email address.  Sometimes I can figure it out but sometimes, I'm at a loss.

I am in the office Monday & Tuesday, 8 to 3 (PST) and Thursday and Friday, 8 to 3 (PST).  That is, when we're not planting hydrangeas, propagating hydrangeas, cutting hydrangeas or shipping hydrangeas.  Again, please leave a message.  I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Hydrangea news - upcoming gatherings for Hydrangea Groupies
American Hydrangea Society - held at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens at 7:30pm - Exhibit Hall
February 13th - Toni Lawson Hall, English hydrangea expert, author of fabulous Hydrangeas - A Gardener's Guide
see website at

Mid-South Hydrangea Society
These wonderful ladies from Tennessee are hydrangea nuts!  They have a fabulous PDF email newsletter and with their society only in it's second year, they are taking the MidSouth by storm.  I can forward the PDF to you if you wish to get their contact information.
Here's a calendar of their upcoming events.
February 13th Meeting - 7:00pm at the Memphis Botanical Garden on interesting ferns for hiding hydrangea naked-ness in winter months.
March 11th - Memphis Area Master Gardeners spring fever event  - Hydrangea booth
March 18th - Hydrangea walk and clean up with Pruning class
April 10th - Dr. Dirr presentation
April 21st - 23rd - Memphis Botanical Garden plant sale
June 17th - 2nd annual Garden Tour

Aldridge Gardens
February 15th at 11:00am - Toni Lawson Hall, author and curator for the National Hydrangea Collection of England

Do you know of other gatherings where HYDRANGEAS are the topic?  Please let us know.  We'll publish in our newsletter and get the word out!  Please, just Hydrangea gatherings.  Contact me if you need some information about Hydrangeas.  We provide FREE information.  Hydrangea Lovers, unite!

Winter tip - salt and hydrangeas
If you salt your drive and walk ways, the run off could be harming your hydrangeas and other plants.  We recommend using non sodium chloride based salts like calcium chloride, sawdust, fireplace ashes or gritty sand.  There is a new product on the market called CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate) that will actually help your plants by replacing important trace elements.  You may have to sweep the residue of some salt alternatives after the ice is gone but your plants will be much happier.

Salt overdose wont appear until later in the growing season.  Plants will slow their growth and leaves will pale and be much more susceptible to the sun.  Hydrangeas may or may not bloom after a salt overdose but if they do bloom, petals will be smaller and bloom time will be curtailed.

If you must use salt, some tolerant varieties of plant material are Daylilies, Junipers, Spruce, and some varieties of Sedium and Syringa lilacs.

AOL & Yahoo Subscribers
We may soon lose some our valued newsletter subscribers.  AOL and Yahoo have announced that they will soon begin CHARGING us to send our newsletter to you.  Even though we are an "OPT IN" (that means you sign up and we don't buy email addresses) sender, they will soon require the use of an e-mail verification service imposing a per subscriber charge for every email we send.  I am a huge fan of AOL and what they have done for internet access but this latest development is simply too much for a small business like ours to get on board with.  I don't know the specifics but from what I've read, we will be subject to this charge because of the number of subscribers we have with AOL and Yahoo addresses.

We have had trouble with AOL in the past when they blocked us as 'SPAM' (in spite of our OPT IN policy).  I'm not sure what can be done about this but if you are an AOL or Yahoo customer and want to keep receiving our monthly email newsletters, please also subscribe with another email address.  We don't want to lose you. Alternatively, you might want to consider contacting either of these providers directly and expressing your displeasure with this policy.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q:  I live in the mountain area of North Carolina.  If I order from you when will the order be shipped?

A:  In your area, I would guess March 15 - April 1st.  I'll email you before I ship so that I don't ship them too soon.  It's best to wait to ship until the last chance of frost has passed so that the plants have the best possible chance to bloom.  A late frost can nip the buds and reduce the number of blooms.  A hard frost can really damage the plant to the point of losing it.  Please take care in your ship date selection.  I do the best I can with my limited knowledge of geography and weather.

Here's a rule of thumb but is by no means always correct:
Zone 9/10 - February
Zone 8 - March
Zone 7 - April
Zone 6 - May
Zone 5 - June

We charge your credit card at shipping time, not at the time of order.

Paniculata, Arborescens and Petiolaris only orders can be shipped out earlier than indicated. These varieties are NOT susceptible to frost.  As soon as your ground is soft enough to dig a hole for planting, we can ship these varieties.  To some degree, the serratas can be shipped out early too.  I'll try to watch for orders like this and send you an email.

Q:  I read the FAQs but am not sure of the answer to my question. I would like to purchase one or 2 PeeGee Hydrangea trees...If I put the order in now, will you "hold" the trees for me until my ship date (april/may - I'm on Long Island in NY) or would I have to wait until April to place the order?

A:  Order now and we can hold them until you're ready.  There is a location on the order form that asks for ship date.  We will email before we ship.  I haven't sold out in the last few years but just in case, it's a good idea to reserve them.
The shipping costs are going to look way too big.  We use USPS or UPS GROUND for the trees.  USPS will charge just the actual weight and not dimension like UPS does so we'll use our discretion in selecting the method.  The boxes are 64 x 9 x 9 and I can put at least three trees in there.  I will adjust the order for shipping charges when I figure new rates then send you an email with the corrected total.  If the trees aren't too leafed out, we'll ship via UPS Ground.  When they start to leaf out, I'll ship USPS Priority Mail.  The Paniculata trees are not susceptible to frost and weather like the other hydrangeas so we should ship them as soon as you can get them in the ground.  That is, when the ground is unfrozen enough and you can get the holes dug in the ground.  This is the only product we sell that is shipped bare root so we ship them out only in the spring prior to Mother's Day - before they have leafed out too much.
Thank you for your inquiry.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Q:  If I purchase three glowing embers now, will wait till spring 2006 to mail them to me? You tend to run out of the three year olds. Thanks for your time and consideration

A:  Yes, we can wait until the spring to ship them.  There is a place on our order form that asks for ship date.  We will always email before we ship to check weather and make sure you're able to plant them right away.
We like to wait to ship until the last chance of frost has past (unless you don't mind covering the plants for a while).  We usually start seeing the plants leaf out about March 1st which is probably a bit early for your part of the country.

Q:  The weather here in Michigan has been unusually warm - I have 20+ "old wood" bloomers. Any suggestions so that I make sure they bloom? When it got warm early last spring, I "lost "my uncovered plants and I didn't get any flowers during the summer.

A:  The best advice is to cover them with a light frost cloth or old bed sheet.  The warm weather followed by an extreme cold front is the most damaging for the hydrangeas that bloom on old wood.
I have also heard of a product called WiltPruf that is supposed to give another 10 to 15 degrees of protection.  We use a similar product for our plants during shipment but haven't tested their claim for frost protection.  That may be worth a try.  I believe they are a CT company so they would know about late frost.
Thank you for your question.

Q:    I have a huge hydrangea garden and for 10 years a spectacular display every year. The entire garden was shaded by a 200 year old oak tree on the east side of the house. I live north of San Francisco.      The tree just fell over. They are now 100% exposed to the sun. Not a problem now but come summer...    They flower at about 5 foot tall. I prune them down to about 4 feet.
 How should I prune them differently now knowing that the environment temperature wise is going to be completely different. I want to prune them and see if they can survive the long summer ahead. Should I prune them more than usual or less?

A:  I'm not sure that pruning any differently will help. 
With more sun hydrangeas tend to grow more compact.  You'll probably have to really keep track and increase waterings for them to hold up in the sun.  Most varieties will adjust to some sun but there are definitely varieties that don't like the sun.  Do you know what varieties you have?  Macrophylla (lacecaps and mopheads) are margin in lots of sun.  The Paniculatas and Quercifolia plus the serratas will fair much better.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Privacy Notice
We respect your privacy and want to be sure this is sent to those customers who subscribed to the Hydrangeas Plus newsletter.  Please click the unsubscribe link below if you received this in error or no longer wish to subscribe to our newsletter.  We apologize if you have asked before and we've neglected to take your name and e-mail account off our list.


Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®