Bluebird Lacecap Hydrangea: - Knowledgebase Question

Charlotte, NC
Avatar for ladyonthepon
Question by ladyonthepon
June 22, 2005
The flowers and buds are fading away and it appears that the two plants we have will not be blooming. Is there anything I can do to promote new growth? How important is sun/shade? The mopheads seem to do well in any environment so it this not true with the lacecaps? Help is appreciated. Judy

Answer from NGA
June 22, 2005
I think your lacecap will bloom again; it blooms as long as from June to October without interruption, but certainly from July through August. The lacecap is made up of a center of tiny dark blue fertile flowers, surrounded by large sterile petals of palest bluish-purple. It is bluer in acidic soil than alkaline. As insects pollinate the fertile flowers of the center, they turn their petals to reveal pinker reverse side.

Pruning can be done for an ideal shape when it is finished flowering in autumn. But pruning to strengthen flowering should be done in late winter or early spring, with the cuts being defined by the location of fattening buds. The previous years' flowers which dry on the branches can be left through winter for their own moderate ornamental interest. Deadheading can wait until spring, & at the same time, prune each flowering stem back to the first pair of large buds.

Like most heavy bloomers, the shrub will need regular feeding to bloom its best, a good spring fertilizing minimally & perhaps a couple more times throughout the year. Full shade may not be the best thing for it. It will do well in full sun if the soil never dries out, but it will do best in partial shade. It will even become drought hardy in partial afternoon shade.

Hope this answers all your questions!

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