Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,

Welcome to 2008!
Did anyone else miss January?  Wow, it went by so fast.  We here at Hydrangeas Plus are excited that the growing season is off to a roaring start - after a super cold 2 week period.  We were down to 23 degrees but the hydrangeas were warmed by our protective covering and daily temperatures kept them healthy and happy..  

I must apologize, however.  The catalog is finally finished and on the way to the printer next week.  This is about a month behind schedule.  We experienced some shocking news here at the VanHoose household.  I was diagnosed with stage zero breast cancer and had surgery last week.  I hope you'll understand that we are a little behind our normal schedule but my recuperation has been speedy and I should be back to work full time in a few weeks.  In the meantime, my family is helping me everyday with email and phone calls, orders and call backs.  So please, be patient with them and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

I expect the catalog to be addressed and sent next week so hopefully, for those of you who signed up for the mailing, ordered in 2006, 2007 or this year, it should be in your hand by mid February.  

Get those orders in early.  I'm already short on a few varieties of plants.  The website is updated.  I uploaded all the pictures and I'll be all set.  Our 1-year size (one-year hydrangea in a 4" or 3.5" pot) should be ready in mid April.  Not every variety will be available in this size but most will be available for sale sometime this spring.  I'm still trying to figure out the production cycle of this new size.

We'll start shipping the on February 11th.  The hydrangeas are looking fantastic.   Is it June yet?  I'm so ready for blooms!

Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland, OR -

Unfortunately, we are not participating in this wonderful show again.  But, I will be speaking on Saturday, February 16th at 2pm in room B 116.  Come learn about hydrangeas, ask questions about your garden beauties and pick up a FREE copy of our 2008 catalog.

But, don't just come for me, look what else we have in store for you...
Ahhh, the Display Gardens: Ideas, inspiration, innovation!
FREE seminars and demonstrations: Show & Tell for us growers, green experts and all around plant geeks
Wine Pavilion - 13 local wineries offering tastes or bottle or even cases of their wonderful fares
Hundreds of exhibits to shop - Celebrate spring without digging too deep into your own green.  Shop from more than 500 gardening and outdoor living exhibits.  
Remarkable Green Market - for those of you looking for that hard-to-find plant
Complimentary parcel pick-up.
Kid's Digs - hands on activities designed to get your young-ins excited about the world of gardening
Celebrity Container Contest - Local celebrities and Northwest native Aya Sumika (special agent Liz Warner from hit show Numb3rs) are pared with one of wonderful garden centers to create a beautiful container garden for your patio or home.   Vote for you favorite and bid in silent auction format.  ALL proceeds go to the Oregon Humane Society.

Don't forget to download your discount ticket worth $2 off admission (click here).

The show is February 15, 16 & 17th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Hours are 10 am – 9pm Friday & Saturday then 10 am – 6pm on Sunday.  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.

Hydrangea meetings around the country this month
American Hydrangea Society Winter Meeting - Monday, February 4th - Atlanta Botanical Garden - in Day Hall or Exhibit Hall
7:00PM Registration and Social time and  7:30PM Fred Spicer, Executive Director of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens - Hydrangeas:  In the Heat and Drought of the night

Alabama Hydrangea Society - contact President Phil Sarris at for information

Central Savannah River Area Hydrangea Society - contact Bill Hayes at for information

Mid South Hydrangea Society Meeting - Monday, February 12th - Memphis Botanical Garden
7:00PM  Eddie Aldridge of Birmingham (and Hoover's Aldridge Botanical Gardens)  - History of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake'

Blue Ridge Hydrangea Society Meeting - Saturday, March 15th, 2008
1:00PM Members meeting at the Bullington Center
see website at

Cape Cod Hydrangea Society - contact President Joan Harrison at for information

Do you know of other gatherings where HYDRANGEAS are the topic?  Please let us know.  We'll publish your event 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.

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 Sedum and Syringa lilacs.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q:  I live in on Long Island.  If I order from you when will the order be shipped?

A:  In your area, I would guess 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 and I'll do my best knowledge of geography and your 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 do charge your credit card at the time of order so that we can ship with very little notice.

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.

Paniculata trees need to be shipped out before May 1st.  These are shipped bare root (our only product done bare root) so as soon as you can dig a hole, we should ship it to you.  Once the tree leafs out too much, we can't guarantee it will survive the transit time without water.  Local customers are always welcome to pickup the trees at any time.

Q:  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 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 two trees in there, sometimes three.  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 show leaf buds, 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 May 1st - ish - 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 2007 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.  We'll charge your card now so that we can ship with just a day's notice and reserve the plants for you.  There is a place on our order form that asks for ship date so give me your best guess.  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:  I am a small cut flower grower in zone 5. This summer will be our second year selling at a farmer's market and to local florists. We would like to get some hydrangeas that we could use for bouquets. Annabelle blooms well here I believe. (that is what my sister thinks is blooming in her yard anyway) My Nikko Blue never did much in my yard and I have even moved it three times in the last ten years or so. I remember your site from a few years ago; I even made comments on your site when you first started. We'd like to purchase about 10 plants to start; small one year plants would be fine. Do you ship bareroot to save on shipping? Which plants would you suggest?

A:          I'll have most of the 1 year plants ready in April (weather permitting).
We don't ship bare root but with some of the soil knocked off the plant to save weight but not enough for the plant to get dry.  We ship 3 day air or USPS Priority mail  to New York so that the plants don't sit anywhere for long.  Shipping cost is based on weight and our minimum cost for shipping is $15.
Zone 5 plants are..
Arborescens Annabelle (you mentioned it)
Paniculata (lots of cultivars - Paniculata Grandiflora is the fullest and most popular cut)
macrophylla All Summer beauty, Dooley, Penny Mac, Blushing Bride
Oakleaf cultivars
I hope that gives you some ideas. 

Q:    In order to actually have blooms on my hydrangeas, I have to buy only those which bloom on new wood as well, or instead of old. My PeeGee hydrangea booms without difficulty, while the "Glowing Ember" hydrangea has never had a flower. Can you help me identify hydrangeas- other than Pee Gee and Endless Summer- which bloom on new wood? I would like something which blooms purple in acid soil (My soil is almost solid clay and quite acidic.) A bush which becomes 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall would be perfect. Thanks for your help

A:  I'm actually adding this to my new catalog and on the website.  Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to do a search. 
I'll make sure you're added to the mailing list for our new 2008 catalog.
The 4 x 4 may be a little tight.  Here's a list of the ones that bloom on new wood (besides the Paniculata and Arborescens family)
All Summer Beauty
Penny Mac
Blushing Bride
I have a lot of cultivars that have bloomed on new wood for us on occasion (Blauer Prinz, Bodensee, bouquet rose, Fuji waterfall, general Vicomtesse, Izo no hana, Koby, Lanarth white, Madame Emile Mouilliere, Marechal Foch, Nikko blue, Otaksa, Florala and serratas blue deckle & Diadem)
I hope that helps.

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®