Dear Hydrangea Plus® Newsletter Subscribers!

Welcome to March 2012. 
Spring is coming early this year (she said hopefully).  We are still having some strange weather around Oregon.  To the north in Portland and to the south of us in Salem – SNOW!  We were a balmy 38 degrees but it felt colder.  Still, no snow but we had an occasional sleet or hail storm.  Hydrangeas are protected in the cold frame houses and toasty warm.

Orders are coming in quickly so order early and don’t miss out on those special varieties.  You can order now but ship later.  If something is out of stock, please email me and I’ll let you know when I expect it back in stock.

The Yard, Garden & Patio show last month was a roaring success.  The show was visited by 25,000 gardeners and although not everyone took home a hydrangea, many did adopt a new one for their garden.  The display gardens were AMAZING!  If you missed them, they were gardens from around the world.  My favorite was Tea Garden with Japanese influences.  No hydrangeas but I can forgive them for that – being it was February.   Visit to see the designs.

At the show, Kristin had the honor of spending 30 minutes on stage with Ahmed Hassan from the DIY network smash show, Yard Crashers.  If you haven’t seen the show, in its 6th season, you are missing out.  Ahmed follows people around at home improvement stores to find his next project.   His show is full of humor & skill that you can bring home to your own yard.   Check out the Redwood Arbor on the site.  It’s on David’s to-do list for our Hydrangea Heaven.  Visit our facebook page to see a link.

Retail hours this month Our first retail event at the nursery is coming up soon.  The annual Spring Break Sale March 23rd and 24th,  Friday and Saturday with hours 10am to 4pm.  Come buy those hydrangeas that are on your plant list before the local nurseries even have them in stock.

On March 24th, I have invited several specialty nurseries to come and sell with me.  Joining me are Fry Road Nursery, Sebright Gardens and Dancing Oaks Nursery.  Here is a little information about them…

Fry Road Nursery offers a vast collection of hardy fuchsias. They sell other unique wonderful plants, too. This mail order nursery is also must-stop destination for the home gardener.

Sebright Gardens carries several hundreds of varieties of shade loving plants – not limited to hosta, fern, and epimedium. Their nursery opens in early April so come see a preview of their 2012 fabulous plants. Sebright Gardens is also a mail order nursery so visit their website, too.

Dancing Oaks is a destination nursery nestled in the foothills of the central Willamette Valley and grows unusual trees, shrubs and perennials from all over the world. Their plants are also available via mail order.

Come join us.  Hours are 10am to 4pm both Friday & Saturday.

Winter tip – Pruning If you forgot to prune your mophead and lacecap hydrangeas last year, don’t worry, you can still do a little pruning this spring.  But, just a little.  Unlike many of your other flowering shrubs (roses, buddleia), hydrangeas shouldn’t be pruned much in the spring.   Most of these mopheads and lacecaps bloom on old wood and if you cut too much or too far down on the stems, you won’t get any blooms.  And, another concern is a hard frost right after you prune.

Once your hydrangea starts to leaf out, you will see the leaf nodes beginning to form.  Most will be bright green although a few cultivars have reddish buds.  Count back from the end of the plant such that you have at least three fat and healthy leaf nodes forming.  Prune above the third one, at a 45 degree angle.  That is, after pruning, you should still have at least three of the fattest leaf nodes remaining. 

When in doubt, just cut off the dried bloom heads from last year and save heavy pruning for after bloom.

The Paniculata and Arborescens hydrangeas bloom on new wood so you may cut them for size every year, spring or fall, whatever is most convenient for you.

Fertilizing It’s getting close to the time to start fertilizing those hydrangeas.  When the leaves start showing, completely or partially, it’s time for fertilizer and soil amendments to get the color of hydrangea you want.

Hydrangeas like a balanced fertilizer.  I prefer a time-released kind that delivers the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) over a 3 or 4 month time period.  Water and/or heat will breakdown the outside coating and release the nutrients slowly.  Nitrogen is for the green parts of the plants, leaves and stems.  Phosphorus helps a plant grow good roots and stems and on some plants, helps with the flower production.  Potassium helps your plant generate and process nutrients.  Trace elements like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and sulfur are also in most commercial fertilizers.

For blue hydrangeas, add aluminum sulfate.  For pink hydrangeas, add garden lime.  Always follow the directions carefully whether you are fertilizing or amending.  It is possible to ‘over’ feed.

We do sell aluminum sulfate, fertilizer and lime.  If you order just amendments, I can ship them UPS ground or priority mail in a fixed price box (for cheaper than the shipping calculates, promise). 

Facebook & Twitter Check us out on both social media applications – you never know when there will be breaking news in the hydrangea world.  We have over 15000 fans on Facebook now.  Visit our facebook page if you haven’t already.  We announce give-aways, specials and helpful hints and tips often.  Follow us on twitter

Free Shipping special
It is that time of year to offer Free Shipping on orders over $175. For those of you in colder zones, please know that you can specify a later shipping date and still get free shipping in April, May or June.

This offer is good just through Sunday, March 31st.  Orders must ship before June 26th, 2012 and is good to US addresses only!  It’s a coupon code and if you have trouble using the coupon just let me know.  Use the coupon code, FREESHIPPING (below your shopping cart) once your order has reached $175.  You won’t be able to see the coupon is accepted and in effect until your reach the check out stage.  If there is an error with the coupon, you will get a purple box at the top of your shopping cart that says ‘you have entered an incorrect coupon code!’.   But again, if you have trouble, just email or call and I can fix it for you.

Office schedule Order early and often. Please leave a message if I don’t answer, remember, I’m a working owner and I like to get my hands dirty.  We really will get back to you promptly.  Or send me an email from the website.  I can answer more quickly.

New Varieties for 2012 (just in case you missed it last time)

Macrophylla David Ramsey – New wood blooming mophead will bloom early and full of blue or pink (or somewhere in between). This cultivar has rebloomed for us for several years. We acquired the specimen from Center for Applied Nursery Research (CANR) in Georgia and we love it!

Macrophylla Sadie Ray – Legendary new wood blooming cultivar from zone 5 farmhouse. Paler blue or pink blooms are plentiful. Introduced with description that it has bloomed reliably every year for over 50 years!

Macrophylla Weidler’s Blue – Biggest lacecap blooms begins white and ages pale blue or pink. Fertile florets are pH sensitive and can be vivid blue, pink or my favorite, purple! Blooms come later in the season but long tapered leaves are eye catching.

Paniculata Chantilly Lace – Laciest Paniculata we’re seen! Big blooms from this seedling of Tardiva are show stopping. Dark glossy leaves, too. This is a seedling from CANR that almost didn’t make it.

Paniculata Little Lime™ - Compact growing version of the popular Limelight™. Our specimen is staying very compact after 3 years in testing. Other ‘dwarf’ Paniculatas? Not so much.


Very Limited Supply – available later this spring(April-ish, I hope)

Quercifolia Munchkin™ - Truly compact (and without much pruning until the deer found it this winter) our specimen grows to just 3 feet. This is a seedling of Sykes Dwarf and is a knockout in the fall with red foliage and deep pink blooms.

Quercifolia Ruby Slippers™ - Like Munchkin, this is a great compact cultivar. Size is approximately 4 feet. This is a seedling of Snow Queen and dwarf PeeWee.


Privacy Notice

We respect your privacy and want to be sure this is sent to those customers who have subscribed to the Hydrangeas Plus® newsletter.  Please use 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 email off our list.

Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®