Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the October 2013 edition of the Hydrangeas Plus® e-mail newsletter.
Fall is a great time to plant for those of us that don’t have severe winters (zone 7 and above). It is actually a preferable time for most. We are adding hydrangeas to our garden this week now that the rain has come and given the plants a great drink of water.
Beautiful fall hydrangeas show going on here. Leaves are changing and colors just exploding from the blooms still on the plants. We are even seeing some of the serratas re-blooming! Love those serratas (see sale below).
I’m in the office on occasion but with fall here, I’m outside a lot getting the plants ready for winter, trimming the garden and doing overall cleanup for our winter nap. Email is always the best way to reach me. A recent power outage during an epic storm erased several messages on the machine. One of the downsides to country living I must say. If you leave a message and don’t hear back from me in a few days, please try again.
Bouquet Rose – one of my favorite re-blooming varieties
Gerda Steiniger – dark pigmented blooms that take on great colors in the fall
Gertrude Glahn – this lady is one of my recommended PURPLE blooms in acidic soil
Konigstein – great RED variety in neutral pH soil or containers
Paris – great city, great big blooms full of vivid colors
Schnaderdorf Pearl – dainty but hardy blooms with lots of color
Blue Deckle – serrata lacecap that stays small, three by four feet at maturity
Diadem – serrata lacecap with dainty stature but big statement
Grayswood – white blooms with fertile florets blue/pink
Intermedia – serrata with best fall color on leaves and blooms
Komacha – double blooming serrata with compact habit
Lilacina – white blooming lacecap that will change leaf/bloom color all season long
I have received some great fall hydrangea questions this last month that I would like to share with you. Maybe you have the same question, maybe something similar. Enjoy!
Q Dear Hydrangeas Plus I'm interested in the Munchkin Hydrangea. I live in zone 7a-7b. Should I wait until spring to order and plant this variety.
A If you have at least 4 -6 weeks before your ground freezes, fall planting is for you! The key for fall planting is that the roots have enough time to get established before winter comes. After leaf drop, you can mulch the plants and keep the roots growing for more time. If you ground doesn’t freeze, and I don’t think it will for zone 7, roots will grow well into winter.
Q I would like to receive some information and advice on growing hydrangeas, I live in Texas and I want to have a hydrangea garden of pink, blues, greens and white hydrangeas. I would like to have some expert advice on which hydrangeas I can grow and that can sustain life in such hot weather and sun as the Texas heat. And when will be the perfect time to plant them and and acidic levels for the desired colors.
A Texas is
really tough for
hydrangeas. Anywhere heat, humidity and general lack of moisture
for hydrangeas. As their name implies, (hydra) they need water
and in the heat
and humidity, water is even more important to keep leaves and blooms
moisture. Hydrangeas will need lots of water in your area.
roots do not grow very deep so when temperatures are hot, the hydrangea
find water on its own.
Best time to plant is when it is not super hot. It is best to plant when temperatures are less than 80 degrees so they don’t have to work so hard to get water. Hydrangeas like acidic soil, around 5.5 so you'll probably have to amend the soil to get the pH that low. Use garden sulfur. If you want blue hydrangeas, you'll also need to add aluminum, as it doesn't occur naturally in your soil down there. Don't add too much aluminum at any time, though. It is toxic to plants if you use too much.
Enough shade, water, acidity and amendments, you can grow any hydrangea. I would suggest the smaller, more compact varieties because the water doesn't have to travel as far to maintain the bloom. Consider growing hydrangeas in containers to better control the acidity and the water.
I hope that
gives you some
Q My Hydrangea leaves are brown/rust. Most of the plant looks healthy but the rust doesn't look very good. Is there some nutrient it is missing, is it getting too much/little water? How can I help the situation?
A What variety is your hydrangeas? Some varieties of hydrangeas change color but other do have tendency to show signs of pests or deficiencies with red/rust color.
A few thoughts to the
Could be just the variety: It is that time of the year that many of the varieties start their trend into fall and with that, leaf color changes and the leaves prepare to fall off. Serrata, some Macrophylla and Quercifolia can change color. Overhead rain can also cause some rust spots on Quercifolia. This doesn’t hurt the plant.
cool nights and
warm days, mildew can attack. You should see some white patches
under those white, you’ll see black or reddening of the leaf.
Again, not a
death sentence for the plant. Remove the leaves or use some
Spider mites: I think it is too late for this to occur but just in case you had a long hot summer that just won’t end, check the underside of the leaf for webs. These little mites are red but usually hard to see. However, their webs are very visible. Most plants will recover with an application of a miticide. Just check the label to be sure that hydrangeas are specifically on the label for use.
Phosphorus deficiency: Hydrangeas love, love, love phosphorus. Phosphorus needs some warmth and heat to absorb and if your temperatures are starting to cool, it won't absorb into the plant. As a spring application, it will help green up the new growth if you continue to see trouble.
Send me a photo if you'd like.
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