Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,


Welcome to the September 2008 e-mail newsletter for Hydrangeas Plus®.  

The glorious Fall is upon us here.  Oh I just love this time of year!  Kids back in school, no 100 degree temperatures, hydrangeas bring on the color changes!

We finally got our Google mess cleaned up.  It's funny that the paid search worked just fine, well I guess not that funny because their motivation is so obvious.  Our website had no spam or invaders that could steal your identity but it took just time for Google to figure that out.  They 'scan' the website when they want and won't do so ahead of their schedule.  Okay, I'm still a little bitter.

Still working on Youtube video

Hydrangea Lady videos are a step closer to your computer.  David, our fabulous webmaster and expert on all things computer, got the video from the nursery onto my Mac, now I just have to cut and paste, add a little music and make you some videos. Remember, I'm hydrangealady at


I'm out there every few weeks checking on those cultivars and doing the grow dance.  The 1 year plants are just getting potted up into the containers so those won't be rooted until next year but most the 2 year and 3 year plants will be ready this fall.  Just email me if you're waiting for something.  I'll let you know when I put it back in stock.  With our upgrade, the notification of 'back in stock' wasn't available so I'm back to manual transmission for that one.

Le Tour Des Plants - September 13th - 21st, 2008

Can you say ahhhh, ohhhh.  I've got some cool new plants here at the nursery just for LeTour.  You're going to get a sneak preview and opportunity to buy some never before offered hydrangeas during the tour.  Some of the most sought after hydrangeas will be here!!!

Check out the website at for other participating nurseries and all the fabulous events going on around the nursery world.  But, come here first before you run out of room for one more hydrangea!

We will have fabulous prices (like 20 to 30% off retail prices) and lots of tips to help you become an expert on hydrangeas.  Well, not too much of an expert because, why would you need me?  All Day Every Day special is free bag of Hydrangeas Plus® Fertilizer or Hydrangeas Plus® Lime with any $50 purchase.  

Hours and events are as followed

Weekday, noon to 4pm
Weekends, 10am to 5pm

September 13 - Kickoff for LeTour Des Plants
Opening day contest - enter to win $100 Gift Certificate for Hydrangeas Plus
10am - cut flower demonstration
1pm - pruning demonstration (will put this on You Tube at a later date)
2pm - Guided tour with me through the nursery

September 14
1pm - pruning demonstration
2pm - pruning demonstration

September 15-19  -  weekdays - no events planned but open noon to 4pm

September 20
10am - Meet Paul Simmons, my favorite customer and Kiwi/Kiwi honey guy of K&B Farms
1pm - pruning demonstration
2pm - Guided tour with me through the nursery

September 21
2pm - pruning demonstration
3pm - pruning demonstration

FREE SHIPPING for fall orders (over $199)

That time of the year again, we're offering free shipping for your orders OVER $199 in September, October and November.  Use the Coupon Code FREE SHIP after you've added the products to your shopping cart (that's just 5 of our 3 year plants, on average at retail price) and in the cart, under 'Redeem a discount coupon, type FREE SHIP.  Continue shopping or fill out your customer information after that.  You won't notice anything on the cart that says you have the coupon in place.  Other than shipping cost will be zero.  These orders must ship in September, October or November of this year, 2008.  If you have trouble using the coupon, just type me a note in the special shipping instructions and I can adjust this at my end.  

2009 catalog

Address Rule changing for the USPS  - Oh my, as if we don't have enough to worry about with rising costs!  Please let us know about your address changes.  Affective November 23rd, new Move Update regs.  What does that mean?  Probably nothing for those of you that haven't moved in the last year but for us mailers, it means mail will not be delivered to address over 95 days old.  That's half of the previous requirement of 185 days.  

So keep us up to date if you moved or didn't get an order from us this year.  You may not get a catalog for 2009.

Questions and Answers - these are from the last months that many of you have and may be too shy to ask

Q:  My hydrangea tree is blooming quite well and in fact, is so heavy that the blooms fall over and looks very sloppy.  What is the best way to trip or stake this plant?
A:  The Paniculata bloom on new wood so you don't have to worry about pruning.  Prune in the spring or in the fall.  Prune quite vigorously for shape.  Cut down to the first leaf node on every branch and thin out small weak branches.  The old wives's tale is to cut so that no two branches are crossing (bad luck).  I like to cut in the spring because it will yield smaller blooms and less flopping for the current year's blooms.  For spring pruning, wait until the leaf buds are green and cut above the first or second leaf node (depending on shape).  These trees can grow 4 feet in one year here in the NW.  Save the blooms, too, for winter projects!

Q:  ARRRGH!  Powdery mildew is early.  What should I do to protect the hydrangeas?
A:  Mildew is early here in the pacific NW, too.  Gads, what a year it's been.  Mildew is more prevalent when the days are warm and the nights are cool.  The best way to keep it away is never get it.  These spores spread so quickly.  Here's some tips to keep it from happening:  Keep area under and around plant free from fallen leaves and debris, decrease the watering and water in the morning hours (not late at night).

If you need to spray once the mildew has started, there are tons of products in your garden centers.  Just be sure the label says it's safe for hydrangeas.  A baking soda mixture (with water and horticultural oil) can keep it controlled.

Q:  The blooms on my hydrangeas have turned green and lots are starting to rot away.  Is it time to prune?

A:  I'll assume you are talking about your Macrophylla (mophead and lacecap) hydrangeas and yes, it's a good time to prune in the fall.  First, does it need pruning or is just removing the old flower heads enough?  You may remove old bloom heads at any time, just cut above the leaf node.  If the plant has good shape and isn't too leggy, just cut off the old bloom heads.  New plants or plants that are very compact need not be pruned much.  However, larger cultivars or older plants should be pruned.

I like to prune in the fall but you can prune in the spring as well.  Just remember, the more your prune and the later you prune (closer to next summer and next bloom cycle), the fewer blooms you'll have.

I have some directions in the catalog for pruning on page 6 and there are directions on the website in the bottom purple help box (pruning tips).  I like to prune in the fall because I can see the old wood and the new wood.  Or, at least what will be old wood next year.  It's important that Macrophylla hydrangeas have some old wood to bloom.  In the fall, the green growth (growth from this year) will be old wood next year.  So, cut so that you leave some of that green growth.  Cut above a leaf node.  Prune early enough so that you see some new growth before the plant goes dormant.

Q:  Is now a good time to plant hydrangeas?   
A:  That really depends on where you live and how long until WINTER comes.  My rule of thumb is that if you have 6 to 8 weeks before your hard frost, it's safe to plant.  The key is getting the hydrangea established before winter comes.  Roots need to be good and growing so that the plant can make it through the winter.

If you're unsure, call your local garden center or agricultural extension office.  Generally zone 6 and above can plant in the fall.  Be sure to mulch well,t oo.

Fall planting is preferred in most areas because the water supply is abundant.

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®