The Q&A Archives: Teller Red Hydrangea

Question: Good morning,
I purchased two of your 'Teller Red' hydrangea plants early last year ('04) (they didn't bloom but I didn't expect them to in the first year). At any rate, it is now late July and they are big, healthy and beautiful but continue to show no blooms or sign of it. Please let me know if it is too early for this variety to bloom or if you feel there is something wrong. I have been looking forward to seeing the flower on these plants for over a year. Help :)

Thanks in advance,
Jennifer Cosgrove

Answer: This hydrangea is only rated hardy into zone 6, and according to your zip code you are gardening in zone 5 which is a zone colder than that. So I suspect the problem is winter hardiness. This plant blooms on old wood. So although the roots are winter hardy in your area the stems and/or flower buds are not. Sometimes a very sheltered microclimate combined with winter protection such as a burlap fence around it filled with non-packing oak leaves will be enough to bring it through successfully. Also limit spring pruning to removal of truly dead stems, and be careful to provide frost protection once the plant has begun to bud or leaf in the spring. With special care you may be able to see blooms; I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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