The Q&A Archives: Nikko Blue Hydrangea White Impatiens

Question: what's the best way to plant nikko blue and annabelle hydrangeas in the front yard - what type of soil, fertilizer, and what time of year? Also, what's the best way to plant white impatiens as flower beds - soil, fertilizer, and what time of year?

Answer: Container grown shrubs can be planted any time of year that the ground is workable, bare root shrubs would be planted in early spring so they can come out of dormancy naturally with the season. In general, fertilizer would be determined on the basis of soil tests with the results indicating what you need to add (or not). You would in any case wnat to prepare the planting area by digging down to about 18 inches to loosen the soil and then add amendments as needed. Follow up the planting by a few inches of organic mulch and water regularly as needed to keep the soil moist for at least a year or two until the plant has become established. A deep watering less often is preferable to a daily light sprinkling.

Nikko Blue Hydrangea is one of the macrophylla types and may need to be protected from frosts if it has already leafed out before it is planted in early spring. The reason for this is that it blooms on old wood and freeze damage may prevent flowering. This plant does best in a rich, evenly moist yet well drained, humusy soil with a slightly acid pH.

Annabelle Hydrangea is a named type of Hydrangea arborescens, a native plant. It does well in a much wider range of situations but also prefers a humusy soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. This one blooms on the current year's growth so it much more reliable in terms of blooming nicely every year.

Impatiens do well in part shade to shade and are not at all tolerant of cold weather. These annuals should be planted in spring after all danger of frost and will need to be replaced each year. They do best in a rich humusy soil that is evenly moist yet well drained.

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