HYDRANGEAS - Knowledgebase Question

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ
Question by GARDENERLG
November 6, 2006
HOW DO I KNOW THE TYPE OF SHRUB FOR PRUNING? jUST PURCHASED LADY IN RED AND SOME OF STEMS WERE DISFIGURED AT GREENHOUSE. CAN I CUT THEM NOW OR IN THE SPRING? oR SHALL I JUST LET THEM BE AND GROW OUT?
DO THEY LIKE ACID FERTILIZER AS HOLLYTONE OR MIRACLE GROW?


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Answer from NGA
November 6, 2006

0

Lady in Red is a named cultivar of Hydrangea macrophylla. It blooms on old wood, meaning stems that grew the year before. Avoid pruning in the fall and spring as this will remove flowering stems for the coming summer. In the spring, remove any winter killed stems, but wait until you are certain the stem is dead before you remove it. Right now, you can trim off any broken parts but it is better to prune as little as possible. Apart from removing dead or badly damaged wood, your new plant should not need much if any pruning for the first few years.

This type of hydrangea should have pink flowers regardless of soil pH. You would not need a special fertilizer for acid loving plants. (Acid soil tends to encourage blue coloring in hydrangeas that are sensitive to pH rather than pink.) A general purpose slow release fertilizer with an analysis of 10-10-10 or similar should be fine along with a top dressing of good quality compost and a year round organic mulch.

Enjoy your hydrangea!

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