Hydrangeas forum: Mail order Hydrangeas, what to do with them?

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Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Apr 23, 2015 5:02 PM CST
Ha, I'm very much a beginner gardener, but during the very cold January I ordered 6 of these Hydrangea's which just arrived, 2 are the same, 4 are different. I'm really excited but I know nothing about taking care of them. Some are pink, some are blue and one is purple. I guess I understand if I want them blue I need to add aluminum sulfate? There is one that is supposed to be purple? I guess less aluminum sulfate?

I have a row of four hydrangeas that have never bloomed but they are planted where it is very shady next to a retaining wall. Last year one plant had one bloom. I don't know why they haven't bloomed. They were planted here when we moved in a couple years ago and die back every year. Lots of foliage. So I am a little worried about the new ones but I am planting in a different spot, that gets some sun and some areas get no direct sun but it is bright. The one I got don't have huge root balls. What advise would you give me :)

The pictures are of the new plants I just got. The other pics are the existing Hydrangeas next to the retaining wall.

Thumb of 2015-04-23/chili/ad77c8
Thumb of 2015-04-23/chili/f7e1e7






Thumb of 2015-04-23/chili/dae300


Thumb of 2015-04-23/chili/c34850

[Last edited by chili - Apr 23, 2015 5:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 23, 2015 5:15 PM CST
I am just going to post this link and let you decide if any of the reasons for hydrangeas not to bloom apply to you.
http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/wont_bloom.html
Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Apr 23, 2015 5:42 PM CST
I never touch them. They do die back to the ground and I thought maybe they were the kind to bloom on only old stems but last year the one bloom was on new stems. Don't know what kind they are because I didn't plant them. The new ones I got I made sure they bloom on new stems. They have plenty of leaf cover protecting them in winter.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 23, 2015 6:18 PM CST
Did you have late spring freezes that could have killed the bloom buds?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Apr 23, 2015 6:31 PM CST
Hi chili,

It looks to me like the first four you have there might be bluer in acidic soil, but the Blue Bunny shouldn't need it. We don't have acidic soil here, but I've found that I can raise acidity just enough by top-dressing with compost, pine fines and/or shredded oak leaves. I'd say just go ahead and plant them first, mulch them well with any of the above, and let them go ahead and get growing for you. You can always fiddle around with color changes later. Smiling

As to your other question...on which side of the wall are your old hydrangeas planted? If it's south or west they may need a really thick layer of compost, mulch or some under-plantings. They may be getting too hot and dry to bloom well.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Apr 23, 2015 7:48 PM CST
Larry, no late freezes.

Chelle,they get an eastern exposure so are protected from the west and very protected. It is pretty shaded but some get morning sun (they are smaller).

Should i not expect many blooms the first year from the ones i just got?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Apr 24, 2015 6:15 AM CST
Depending on how deep the shade actually gets, that sounds like a good place for them. Since you've added the info that they're small, I'm wondering if they need extra nutrients. Top-dressing around the plants with lots of compost works well over time as there's less chance of chemical burn to roots, so I would try that first. I don't use chemical fertilizers, so I have little advice to share on those.


Perhaps one or more of these hydrangea growers can offer more advice.
@bonitin
@foraygardengirl
@pirl
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


[Last edited by chelle - Apr 24, 2015 6:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Apr 24, 2015 6:49 AM CST
Chili - I see you live in zone 6a but which state?

I do not fertilize any of my hydrangeas but they do get compost when they're planted and they get mulched each April.
Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Apr 24, 2015 1:50 PM CST
Arlene, I updated my profile. I live south east of Kansas City.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Apr 24, 2015 2:29 PM CST
Thanks, Lynn. If you haven't planted them yet, I'd keep them damp and out of freezing temperatures.
Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Apr 24, 2015 5:57 PM CST
Thanks pirl, I can do that. The bed I want to plant them in won't be ready for a couple weeks. I have to plant shrubs, etc, but that's another post entirely :)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Apr 24, 2015 6:05 PM CST
You could add mulch to each pot (after you water them) to conserve water. You don't want them sitting in a saucer of water or you risk root rot. Morning sun is fine but no hot afternoon sun.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
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foraygardengirl
Apr 24, 2015 10:38 PM CST
Lynn,
I collect pine needles that drop from the trees in my yard and put them around my hydrangeas. I top dress with only compost and manure every spring-no other fertlizer. I did have my Tardiva hydrangea in too much shade (like maybe 2 hours of morning sun) and it bloomed very little. I moved it to a sunnier location and it is much happier now. As far as blooms your first year, I believe it depends on the specific variety. My Endless Summer took a couple of years to give me more than a flower or two. Same with Tardiva. But Quickfire, Limelight and Little Lime each bloomed quite a bit the first year.
Good luck to you...hope these all work out.for you.
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.

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