Dear Hydrangea enthusiasts,

Happy New Year!  Football playoffs, Seahawks in the Superbowl, kids are back to school, all these winter storms across the country – crazy times in our hydrangea world are back.  I am ready for spring to kick off.   I hope you are, too.


What’s Happening…

It is cold here in the Willamette Valley but the last week has been so sunny that the leaves are starting to peek out on the hydrangeas.  Our resident deer family is still on vacation.  We haven’t seen the normal signs yet.  We have been seeing the signs of the rabbits that live all around the nursery.   They have eaten every one gallon Hydrangea Phantom down to just a nub.  Not sure they will be ready for sale even in June!


I am frantically busy with nursery stuff.  Inventory is done, labels are put away and supplies are ordered for spring!  Whew!  I have struggled with the new varieties this year so my apologies for the delay.  So many new plants on the market but not every hydrangea is Hydrangeas Plus® worthy.  Some are really disappointing and I wish the developers of these new hydrangeas would do a little more testing (without the help of the chemicals) before releasing the new ones.


Social Media

Visit our Facebook page at to or just search for Hydrangeas Plus.  I post specials and photos so visit often.  We are boasting but we have over 38,000 fans on Facebook, now.  Come see what all the fuss is about.  Not much going on with the page right now with dormant hydrangeas but I can’t wait to share with you come bloom time.  Coupons and other happenings are posted as they happen.


Schedule for 2014 (Well, as much as we can schedule…)

January 27th – shipping resumes, inventory is updated
March 21st & 22nd  – Hydrangeas Plus® open house and Annual Spring Break Sale at nursery
April 5th – Gardenpalooza (Fir Point Farms in Aurora from 8am to 4pm)
April 26th – May 10th – Annual Overstock Sale at Hydrangeas Plus®, daily from 10 to 4pm
Both sets of our parents’ 50th wedding anniversaries are this year so for now, we are not going to plan for a field day to view hydrangeas.  That may change and I’ll keep you posted.


Commonly Asked Questions (Cold, Freezing Temperatures)

With all these cold temperatures across the country, I wanted to include a few answers for you, in case you have the same questions in the next, hopefully warmer, next few months.


Q:  As you probably know, we here in the south had a crippling freeze several days ago....went down to 12 and 19 for 2 nights. Very frigid day and night for several days so I tried to cover and protect our newly-planted (as of 2 months ago) but think that 2 of them have severe freeze damage. They are almost black! What should we do to try to save them or is it just hopeless? They are terrible looking! Thanks for your advice and hope all of you are well and warm!


A:  I don't think it is hopeless.  You will just have to wait and see what happens.  Don't cut the stems quite yet.  Just let them grow out of the black freeze damage for now. 

It is so hard to know what is going on with the roots but often, soil temperatures are warm enough to keep damage from happening.  The worse damage will be done to the stems.  It won't necessary kill the stems but you may see fewer blooms this year, but that is totally weather dependent.  If it is super warm, they may have enough time to grow out enough and develop buds.

Q:  We experienced some sleet and things froze.  One of my new hydrangeas had a full head of leaves prior to the freeze.  All of her leaves are limp and (I assume) dying.  Do I let them die back or cut them back?


A: Just let them sit for now.  Those frosted leaves will add some protection just in case you get another freeze.  Next spring when leaf nodes start to form, you can cut off a little of the ends but not too much. 


Note from Kristin:  After a hard winter, like this one, the hydrangeas will be extra needy for nutrients so start applying fertilizer when you first start to see the leaf buds swelling.  We recommend a balanced, time-released fertilizer every 2 or 3 months.   We sell a good one with lots of trace elements to keep your hydrangeas happy.


New Varieties

Ok, finally pulled the rabbit out of the hat.  Unfortunately, it is not the rabbit in the nursery that ate every single Hydrangea Paniculata Phantom 2-year plant down to the soil level.  Hope you enjoy them. 


Hydrangea Macrophylla Atlantic – This is a beautiful medium sized mophead hydrangea that has large blooms on a strong and sturdy plant habit.  This faithful pink to blue blooming hydrangea has fantastic foliage that can take a little bit of sun up here in the northern gardens.  Atlantic has great pigment changes as the bloom ages, too.  Atlantic is a great cutting hydrangea so buy one for your garden today!


Hydrangea Macrophylla Oak Hill – This new hydrangea is a great cultivar that blooms on new and old wood.  This faithfully blooming plant has striking pastel colored petals layered against big heart shaped leaves.  Like the other new wood blooming hydrangeas, colors fade to antique greens, reds and pinks when pigments age in the late summer months.  Oak Hill blooms pale pink to lavender to pale blue, depending on the pH of the soil.


Hydrangea Macrophylla Sensation – The picotee petals on this exciting plant are just stunning.  Sensation has white edges rimming hot pink, purple or royal blue pigmented florets, depending on the pH of your soil.  Strong stems and sturdy leaves contribute to the statement this unusual plant makes in your garden.  It is a medium sized plant that will need shade to keep the petals from the sun.


Here are the great ones to consider from last year, too.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to sell this year. 


Hydrangea Macrophylla Mini Penny® - First compact re-blooming mophead.  Lots of others try to compete for this coveted title but look no further, test no further.  This is the compact version of the original Penny Mac hydrangea named for Penny McHenry, founder of the American Hydrangea Society.  A portion of the sales go to the American Hydrangea Society, too.


Hydrangea Macrophylla Pistachio® - This is a revolutionary hydrangea with colors we haven’t seen before.  I’ll admit, I was skeptical and didn’t believe it but you can see reds, purples and pistachio green.  Oh, I love that bright green color. 


Hydrangea Macrophylla Wedding Gown® - A double lacecap stuns all passer byes in the nursery with bright white sepals and dark green serrated foliage.  The domed shape bloom appears more mophead-like after blooming but hold up just a second.  Wait for the fall color on the leaves to change before you cut them!


Hydrangea Paniculata Baby Lace® - Small is the new big?  Bigger is better?  Not so fast hydrangea lovers.  Our gardens are getting smaller and container gardening is only going to get more popular so look what we have here!  A compact Paniculata with full blooms and bright white petals!


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Kristin VanHoose

Hydrangeas Plus®