Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the Hydrangeas Plus newsletter for May!
I am determined to get our May newsletter
out but so much is happening here at the nursery. We are in the middle
of our spring overstock sale and we're right in the middle of the busiest
part of the shipping season. And, the post office has decided they need
to raise rates. We're still tyring to figure out the impact it will
have on our shipping rates.
All our midwest and eastern customers are emerging from winter. And,
what an awful winter it was. I hope you'll have some hydrangeas in bloom
back there. We had the same experience last year and we're still seeing
the affects. See below about dealing with frozen plants. We've
got lots of vareities just bursting with buds.
We are having an extremely cool spring here in the Willamette Valley. But,
we've got buds and some blooms already. Plants are hardening off but
still a little sensitive to that sunshine. We've had just one or two
days at 80 so far. Usually, we're into the 80s consistently by now.
I'm beginning to rust from all the rain.
Plants are growing and growing. We've begun to cut back some varieties
but we're trying to wait as long as possible so we can ship your hydrangeas
with buds so they will bloom for you.
What's happening at Hydrangeas Plus®?
On my goodness, what's not happening here at Hydrangeas Plus?
Our spring sale in happening right now! Final weekend - come see
our blowout prices!
We hope that our local customers can find the time to venture to our nursery
and find some room for some bargain priced plants. We bring out those
plants that we have over produced or are taking out of production. We
have over 50 varieties of hydrangea. Plus, we grow other plants here
at the nursery - Azaleas, barberry, heather, hibiscus, grasses, ilex, and
many others. These are all at or below wholesale prices, too. Sorry,
these prices are only good for on-site sales through May 12th. Kristin
relaxes and is out of commission for Mother's Day.
Our spring sale is always the two weeks before Mothers Day every year.
We select this time of year for several reasons. First, it's at the
end of our busy wholesale shipping season and second, it's right before
planting so that we can ‘clean out the nursery’ of plants that are left
over or that we don't want to move into a bigger size. And make room
for the new plants!
We are also hard at work planting new hydrangeas. You've probably noticed
that we are very low on hydrangea varieties right now. We're planting
as fast as we can so we can have them ready for summer (if your area doesn't
get too warm) and fall shipping but some varieties may not be ready until
Spring. If you must have a variety that is out of stock, be sure to
sign up for our email notification for that variety. We will email
you as soon as they are big enough to ship out. It's usually September
1st for the three year plants and September 15th for the one year plants.
The 4" hydrangeas are mostly ready. I just need to get out there and
see what's rooted.
I've got some new varieties in the works for next year. I do like
to grow a variety for a year (at least) so that I have some real life experience
before we recommend it to our customers. I'm not one to take the word
of other growers - I must have my own experience so that I can honestly tell
customers about the plants we grow.
Finally, we're getting ready for Le Tour de Plants. This is a self
guided tour of garden centers and nurseries in Oregon. Not every garden
center will participate. Dates are September 14th - 23rd. We'll
have specials going on here at the nursery and I hope to have everything available
for on site sales. Plus, we're putting hydrangeas in the ground with
hopes we'll have something to look at, too.
New Website feature
I've added some pages to illustrate Hydrangea happenings across the country.
It's in the help box, bottom left hand side of the website. I
will keep up to date (with the help of the wonderful hydrangea societies)
the meeting schedules. Several of the societies are meeting this month
so take a look. The title is 'Society Mtgs'.
I have also added a RETAIL HOURS!! for our retail events at the nursery.
Check back regularly for updates.
We were so sorry to hear about the freezing temperatures on the east
side of the country. Here are some tips we hope will help.
If your temperatures dipped into the high 20s, chances are the plants will
survive but blooms will be sparse on Macrophylla and Serrata cultivars. Paniculatas
and Arborescens will probably be fine and bloom like normal years. Oakleaf
may recover and bloom, too.
You probably won't lose the plant but it may look pretty bad for a year.
Prune back to firm growth. You should see some recovery quickly
if damage was centralized to just stems. If the roots froze, which I
suspect is a rare occurrence, you may need to replace the plant. Container
plants probably suffered the most because root systems were less protected.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Cutting Hydrangea Blooms
Now that hydrangeas are starting to bloom, we get the ‘cutting hydrangea
blooms’ question often. I asked my friendly cut flower guys (Thanks,
Johnthan and Ray) his tricks of the trade and here are his tips.
Don't cut fresh blooms: Be sure that the hydrangeas are at least
a few weeks old. The older the bloom, the longer it will last.
Color pigments should be fully developed before cutting.
Cut all the leaves off: Leaves take moisture away from the flower
head so strip the leaves off before cutting. Long stems are nice for
vases but the longer the stem, the less water that reaches the bloom.
Immerse cut blooms immediately in water and soak for two hours:
this may require that you weigh the hydrangeas down in the water.
Cold water that has been boiled works the best.
Some other methods for cuts that eliminate the oxygen bubble in the stem:
Florist gel is expensive, time consuming and can be messy but works
Put the cut ends in boiling water
Smash the cut end with a hammer right after cutting
Cut another inch off the stem underwater
SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE
What to do for Mother's Day? We've got hydrangeas? What
a wonderful gift for that special Mother in your life.
We are offering hydrangeas for $30 in the three year size! Check
out our website for specific varieties. Be sure to order by May 7th
to be sure your order arrives in time. We can process gift certificates
(great for that mother you know has everything!) until May 12 via email.
The sale of the $30 three year plants is good till May 31st.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q: Hi, I bought a Nikko from you this season and it's doing great
- 12" of new growth already. I just wanted to ask about droopy stems. A couple
of stems that grew from the base ended up flat on the ground and of course
I cut these off. However, many other stems seem to be barely able to support
themselves and with buds forming I'm worried that some may completely collapse.
When it rains I tie a string around the stems to help prop them up but this
is not a permanent solution. I suspect this is normal to extent and not to
worry but I just wanted to be sure. The plant is very healthy - there may
a little too much new growth for it's own good. Is it ever necessary to stake
A: Just keep the floppy branches supported. The plant will get
better as it gets older and the stems get stronger. It must be adjusting
very well to it's new home. 12" of new growth, that's fabulous.
You may also use peony cages or some other more permanent structure.
It will get better as the plant gets older. You may have to accept the
floppiness this year, however. You may cut the floppy branches but
if you do, you will cut off the blooms this year.
We always debate whether to prune the plants before we ship. Many
other mail order companies that offer hydrangeas do that. Our goal
is to get you blooms THIS year. It doesn't always work but that's our
goal for spring shipping.
Thank you for your question. Please let me know if I can be of further
Q: What is wrong when the Hydrangea bloom is green? The plant is
nice and healthy looking, but the blooms were green. I don't know the variety....I
got a cutting from a very old plant. The old plant was very large and had
large beautiful blue blooms.
A: Did you happen to use some aluminum sulfate or other amendment
to help go blue? You may have put too much or applied too late.
I've also had this happen to me when fresh blooms open and we get a really
hot day. I know our hot days are not the same as your hot days.
Humidity may also play a role.
Also, limit fertilizer in the hot summer months. We recommend applying
it when you start to see buds (March to early April for us here).
I hope that helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Q: I live in zone 6A. My red hydrangea bloomed for
the 2nd time last summer....but it was blue/violet. What can I feed it to
make the red return? Does the plant need super phosphate? And you have never
seen a lovelier site than hillsides covered with red hydrangeas in Ireland........spectacular!!
Thanks for your help.
A: You may use garden lime but I recommend super phosphate
fertilizer (like you'd use on your bulbs) if you soil is acidic. And,
I think you do have acidic soil. The phosphate will bind the aluminum
and stop the plant from absorbing it. Without aluminum, the pigments
in the petals will stay red.
Q: We had a very early Spring--starting in February, We
had several 85 degree days ; now I have 12 frozen plants, some knee high
and totally leafed out that are in trouble after two nights of 24 degree
weather. What should I do now? Hydrangeas are my favorites and I had a lot
of time and money invested. I'm just devastated. Help, please. I don't mind
missing a year of blooms--i just want to save my plants.
A: I'm so sorry to hear about your weather.
As long as they are in the ground with good root systems, they will most
likely be fine. We had the same condition last year in the nursery.
The plants didn't fare as well because we grow all in containers. As
long as the roots didn't freeze, the plants will survive. You probably
won't have many blooms on the old wood blooming macrophylla. If you
have any Paniculata or new wood blooming plants, you'll probably see blooms
but very late.
I think the weather over there will get warm again quickly. At least
that's what the weather.com people say. For now, just treat the plants
like normal. A dose of fertilizer this week will be good. Next
weekend, prune off the wilted leaves down to firm growth. The cold will
probably make them look like wilted lettuce. That growth will probably
not regenerate but give it a few days before you prune.
Fertilize often, too. We use a liquid feed with lots of nitrogen (18),
Phosphorus (10) and Potassium (10) for a good all around feed.
I hope that helps. So sorry about the weather. What a strange
Q: I am looking for a small blue hydrangea and wondering what your
suggestions might be (you have SO many options). Here are the specifics: Zone
6 (Rhode Island) part shade (afternoon shade) preferably lacecap... something
that stays relatively small - maybe 4' at maturity. Thank you so much for
A: There isn't a true macrophylla lacecap that will stay 4'.
Most will grow to 5 or 6'. The Teller series are your best selection
in my opinion. They are strong and sturdy plants that don't get floppy.
My favorites are Zaunkoenig (the one I've been able to keep the most compact)
and Blaumeise. These are pH sensitive so your soil should be acidic
in order for you to get blue blooms.
If you don't mind another variety of hydrangea, consider the serratas. They
are more compact. The lacecaps that I think will meet your needs are
Blue Billow (3 feet) and Blue Deckle (3 feet tall but about 4 feet wide).
I just adore the blue deckle. It's one of my favorites of all the hydrangeas.
Thank you for your question. Please let me know if I can be of further
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