Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the August/September 2007 edition of the Hydrangeas Plus® e-mail newsletter.  Yes, I'm a bit late with my writing.  August is always a little crazy here.   But, time flies by too fast when you have a huge nursery To Do list just looking back at you.  My plans of grandeur have again fallen by the wayside.  It is possible to clone myself?  

We hope you are all enjoying your summer and your hydrangeas!  I can't believe it's already the September.  The hydrangeas are turning green here but paniculatas are a stunning display.

We've had a wonderful summer for the hydrangeas.  After a hot few weeks in July, temperatures have really been cooler than I remember in a long time.  And virtually zero rainfall.   We've cut the hydrangeas to spur new growth while we propagate.  I'm doing quite well putting back the varieties that were sold out last spring.  I just have a few stragglers that I can't seem to keep in stock.  I've been trudging through the nursery every week in search of varieties to put back online.  The three-year plants will often return more quickly than the one year plants, just because we planted them first.  We're so very careful to propagate the right variety.  Unfortunately, some of the paniculatas and Quercifolia may not be big enough for fall shipment but I'm still hopeful.

As I mentioned, the three year plants should be available by September 1st and the two-year plants by September 15th.  The one-year plants will most likely be available in the spring of 2008.  They are all growing as fast as they can.  If you'd like to be notified when a particular variety and size is ready, just go to that product online at and enter your email address after clicking on the 'Keep me updated' button and we'll send you an email when it's ready.

Le Tour des plants - September 15 - 23rd - Fall planting is fabulous for hydrangeas.  Enjoy 20 to 30% off our normal retail prices.
Weekends 9:00am to 5:00pm and Weekdays 10:00am to 4:00pm
Wristband Specials (cost of wristband is $2) - additional 10% off all plant purchases, FREE Hydrangeas Plus fertilizer or lime with any $50 purchase, and enter to win $100 Gift certificate for Hydrangeas Plus
September 15
Opening Day contest - win certificate for St. Joseph's Wine Stomp on September 22nd or 23rd.
10:00am - Cut hydrangea demonstration
1:00pm - Pruning Demonstration
2:00pm - Guided Tour of the Nursery with Kristin VanHoose, Owner

September 16
10:00am - Cut Hydrangea demonstration
2:00pm - Hydrangea Pruning Demonstration

September 22
10:00am - Select & Grow Kiwi in the Northwest - Paul Simmons (our local Kiwi & honey guy) of K&B farms will discuss and sell Kiwi for our Northwest region.
2:00pm - Tour the Nursery with Hydrangea Expert, Scott Christy, on loan from Terra Nova Nurseries

September 23
2:00pm - Hydrangea Pruning Demonstration

Sale is going on right now!
Free Shipping again, good through November 30th, 2007.  Just use the coupon code FREE SHIP after you've added products to your shopping cart.  You won't see any verification that the shipping is free until you checkout.  This is good for US addresses only.

The Ladies are here
Have I got some great plants for you collectors out there.  I've had the privilege to grow these plants for you and you can't believe how exciting they will be to the hydrangea world.  They are called the Dutch Lady series.  there are four in the series I'm going to offer to my customers.  I just want to make sure I have enough!  Pre orders will be taken this fall for spring shipping.  They will be a highlight of the NEW 2008 catalog.

Hydrangea news - upcoming gatherings for Hydrangea Lovers around the country
If  you have a hydrangea event coming, please let me know.  I will post the meeting date, time and subject on our website under 'Society Mtgs'.  We still need to get the word out that hydrangeas are fabulous. Can you believe there are still gardeners that don't know that?

Commonly Asked Questions - from prior newsletters

Q:  I have 4 large pots of Hydrangeas that had pink blooms and blue blooms.  Now they have all turned green.  What can I do or what is the problem?

A: The greening of the hydrangeas is probably the variety.  Many of the paler pinks and blues will turn green.  Some of the darker colored ones too.  It's hard to avoid this color change.  If you want more vibrant dried colors, chose other varieties like Hamburg, Altona, Europa, Marechal Foch, etc.   The aging process can be sped up with sunlight, heat, humidity and over feeding (too much nitrogen).

Q:  How do I prune hydrangeas??   How do I take cuttings? when?

A: Pruning hydrangeas depend on the variety.  What variety do you have?
If you need to do more pruning than just deadheading (if the hydrangeas are floppy and need shaping), do that in the fall about 6 weeks before you expect your first frost. Cut to the first leaf node of the new growth. Only do this sever pruning in the fall so that you retain as much of the old growth (what macrophylla hydrangeas bloom on) as possible. If you have older plants with lots of dead wood, cut out those totally dead branches all the way to the ground. You can prune in the spring too - just wait until leaves start forming and be sure that you don't cut all the leaf nodes off.
Propagate hydrangeas now for cuttings.  One leaf node is all you need.  I hope this helps. We have more tips on the website in the hints & tips section.

Q:  I know little about hydrangeas but he goes. I transplanted a hydrangea back in Mar. soon after we had a had freeze and the stems died. It has since grown from the roots and appears to have flowers forming. Should I fertilize at this point? It seems to be doing ok but the flowers that are starting are small.  Also, my father has a hydrangea that is 50yrs. old. If I wanted to get a start from this planed, how would I go about it. It would be transplanted from Va. to Ohio.

A:  Yes, fertilize now if you haven't already.  Flowers are probably smaller because of the freeze in March.  not to worry.

Now is a great time to propagate.  We have some tips in our catalog and on our website.  Hydrangeas root very easily by cuttings.  Cuttings can be placed in well draining media and kept moist (not wet).  You may even lay a branch (still attached to the plant) on the ground and it will root in just a few weeks.  Once the roots start to form, snip the branch away from the original and transplant.

Q:  My tree hydrangea is blooming quite well, in fact, it seems heavier on top from the overwhelming growth.  What is the best way to: either trim or put up some sort of poles and rope to anchor it?

A: It's best to prune in the spring - that will make the blooms a little bit smaller than pruning in the fall.  You can prune heavily as the Paniculatas bloom on new wood and will bloom no matter when you prune.  Be sure that you leave at least one leaf node when pruning.

Staking may be necessary for the hydrangea tree.  Over time, it will be stronger.  Stake the tree loosely to a strong stake.  This will allow the tree to bend a little with the wind.  The bending & swaying will make the tree stronger.

For now, just cut off the stems and bring the beautiful blooms inside to enjoy.  Wait until the bloom ages a little.  Paniculatas usually age a little bit pink when they are ready to dry.

Q:   I have an old variegated, green with white, formerly blooming blue hydrangea that I moved to Murfreesboro from Memphis, TN in 2002.  It has not bloomed since.  Any ideas or fixes?  It looks healthy, has increased in size, but has not bloomed since transplanting.

Also, I was told that my white Tardiva variety bloomed on new wood and could be pruned in the fall to reshape.  It is August and I see only one puny bloom developing.  The same for my Limelight only it has no blooms at all.  Do they bloom on old wood?
They both get dappled sunlight and are  large with healthy green leaves.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

A:  Sometimes transplanted hydrangeas need time in the ground to bloom.  They sometimes need time to adjust to new surroundings.  Other reasons why hydrangeas don't bloom are 1) too much pruning 2) too much freezing temperatures early fall or late spring 3) old stems die back to the ground every year and only new growth is from the base 3) too much fertilizer 4) too much shade.

The Paniculatas bloom on new wood (unlike your variegated one that blooms on old wood).  You should be able to prune in the late fall or the early spring and get blooms.  They may need more sun.  The Paniculatas are known for being shy bloomers in lots of shade. Also, Paniculatas do bloom a bit later than the macrophyllas.  The Paniculatas are usually in bloom by late July or early August and last all fall, changing to pink, red, burgundy, depending on the variety.

Q:  I saw one in Washington, being sold at a grocery store, it said the grower was half moon bay california...I can't find one anywhere here at home.  Any ideas?

A:  I bought one a few years ago and it acts just like the Fuji Waterfall that we sell. 

The Shooting Star name is patented by the Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California.  I bought mine at Trader Joes.  I think they are both the same plant as Hanabi, a Japanese favorite that has it's name Trademarked so everyone keeps naming it something else.  It's so confusing for customers, I know.  If I didn't have both and grow them side by side, I'd have no clue.

Privacy Notice
We respect your privacy and want to be sure this is sent to those customers who subscribed to the Hydrangeas Plus newsletter.  Please click the 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 e-mail account off our list.


Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®