The Q&A Archives: Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Question: Hi: We bought about 40 of your Endless Summer Hydrangeas in May and are enjoying them. All are thriving except............the ones that are getting NO sun at all. Is sun a requirement for these particular hydrangeas? Approximately one-half of one plant is totally brown and has died, and about eight or ten others in that particular area of the garden are headed that way. That area is shaded and gets virtually no sun. My husband seems to think this is the problem, that they're not receiving sun. I've always believed when you mention sun on the cards attached to the plants it's in the context that it can't be direct sun on the plant, but only filtered sun, but that that doesn't necessarily mean the plant has to have sun. Please advise. Thank you, Pat

Answer: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea prefers a moist soil (not wet) in a place with afternoon shade and morning sun. If you choose a dry spot with afternoon sun, the hydrangea will wilt and the blossoms will be short lived. If you choose a place that is wet and poorly drained, the hydrangea will eventually perish. The site you describe is too shady for the plants to thrive, however they may very well adjust over time and may even bloom for you. Since 'Endless Summer' blooms on both old and new wood, you can prune back the affected branches to encourage healthy new growth. It may surprise you and bloom, after all.

Tags on plants can be confusing. Full sun means a minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight. Part sun can mean morning sun; or it can mean afternoon sun only; part shade can mean morning sun with afternoon shade. Unless a plant tag specificially mentions shade-loving or shade plant, expect that the plant needs some sunshine during the day. Morning sun isn't as intense as afternoon sun; I'd give hydrangeas morning sun and either full or filtered afternoon shade because the leaves on these plants tend to wilt in full afternoon sun. Hope I haven't confused you even more!

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