Ask a Question forum: Endless Summer Hydrangea

Views: 403, Replies: 13 » Jump to the end
Shrewsbury, MA
AJR04
Nov 21, 2017 10:43 PM CST
I bought 2 endless summer hydrangea plants in the spring. They were small plants. Both grew but only one bloomed. Anyway, I live in the northeast and we had a deep frost which turned them brown and wilted. Today, I made a rookie mistake and cut them at ground level. The inside of the wood was still green. Did I ruin the chance of any new growth?
Thumb of 2017-11-22/AJR04/5f8a5b

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
crawgarden
Nov 21, 2017 10:48 PM CST
No, but it may or may not bloom next year (which can be standard for Endless Summer 😀) I would just mulch them with some leaves.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 21, 2017 11:32 PM CST
I agree with crawgarden. Don't stress about it.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 22, 2017 5:13 AM CST
Welcome!

Did you cut below the lowest node (lowest spot where you see next year's growth buds?). I'm not certain if Endless Summer regrows from the base if that happens (some hydrangeas do). Hydrangeas are woody plants not herbaceous perennials, so we don't cut them back to the ground when the tops are frosted, as you now realize. Endless Summer can flower on both old and new wood, so in future it is better to leave it alone other than cutting out any obviously dead wood in spring.
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Nov 22, 2017 11:28 AM CST
Cutting the stems will only impact blooming from old wood. That means you will not get blooms in early Spring which is when the flower buds in old wood open. It does not impact developing of new stems (new wood). New wood should produce flower buds by late Spring to mid Summer -once it attains a proper height- and then those flower buds should open quickly by mid-to-late Summer.

I would not add fertilizers to try and correct the problem. Just consider this the same type of incident as when someone accidentally prunes all the stems prior to Spring (you still get new stems afterwards). I am ofc ourse assuming that the shrub survives winters.

I recommend adding some winter protection, as a habit, once it goes dormant in the Fall to encourage more reliable early Spring blooming (in the future).
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 22, 2017 9:48 PM CST
I have an Endless Summer Hydrangea. I bought it when they were new, the label said it was a dwarf and would get only 4-5 feet tall. It wants to be about twice that size, and last year, in early spring, I cut the whole thing off to little stubs about 4" tall. It is now almost 6 feet tall. It did not get blooms early, but has now been blooming for months on the new wood. I might hack it off at 4" again! Well it's either that or kill it, it is really too large for the space.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 22, 2017 9:50 PM CST
Oh and it is sending up suckers everywhere...
Maybe I better just kill it now, to put me out of my misery ;-)
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Nov 22, 2017 11:45 PM CST
I feel your pain, Pistil. In places with a long growing season, one can expect to see growth equal to the larger of the stated sizes (5' if they say 4-5') minimum. I get similar issues with other hydrangeas & other shrubs as they go dormant late in December and leaf out sometimes in March (for the last few years at least). I am sure your ES does approve of your soil and weather! Hee hee hee!

Also, I would not assume that they stay at the size in the plant label as that is a guesstimate at about 10 years old if all goes well. I have some non-ESs that kind of do stay short but only because now and then there is dieback that makes the stems start growing from ground zero again.

I wonder what is up with yours sending suckers??? The one ES that I had never sent suckers but my Annabelle sure did.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 23, 2017 5:00 AM CST
'Annabelle' suckers regularly here too, which is why I knew it could grow from the base but I wasn't sure about Endless Summer. So you cut yours below the lowest node, Mary? My Endless Summer only barely survived two winters here in Zone 4 and didn't flower again after the year it was planted - too much winter dieback and it didn't seem to have time in our short season to flower on new wood. AJR04 is in Zone 6 I believe so it may fare better there.

One thing I wonder about, though, is whether we all have the same plant. Endless Summer is a trade designation not a cultivar name so technically there could be different plants sold as Endless Summer other than the original cultivar 'Bailmer'. In fact checking their web site there are four Endless summer hydrangeas, and they now refer to 'Bailmer' as "The Original".

http://www.endlesssummerblooms...
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 23, 2017 11:16 AM CST
I have the original (I save tags in a box and I just went and looked).

Sooby has one in Hardiness Zone 4, which is the limit for these shrubs, so no wonder it is struggling a bit. I hope as it establishes it gets better, that really does happen sometimes.

I did cut mostly at the lowest nodes, but even the ones I cut below seemed to have nodes below the soil line so the whole thing grew furiously, immediately. I had suckering even before I butchered it. Last year I dug one up and gave it to my sister, it is a nice little shrub now.

It is interesting that the label says Hardiness Zones 4-9, also Heat Zone 6-9. I am Heat Zone 3 but these plants flourish here, just do not need to be baked in the summer. For our original poster in MA, The Hardiness Zone is how cold it gets in winter, the Heat Zone is how much hot weather you have in summer. Hardiness Zones have been used for a zillion years, but heat zones are new, maybe 15 years old so people are still figuring them out for each plant. Seattle of course is lovely in summer, typical day here is 75 degrees, sunny, and low humidity (uh oh, the secret's out, just 1-7 days a year over 86 degrees). You live in Hardiness Zone Zone 6, I think. Your Hydrangea should be happy there, not stressed liek Sooby's in Ontario. I also just glanced at the Heat Zone map. This puts you in Heat Zone 4 or 5 depending on your exact location in MA. Heat Zone 4 has 14-30 days over 86 degrees, and Heat Zone 5 shows 30-45 days over 86 degrees. But we all know people in Heat Zones 4-5 have lovely Hydrangeas, so the growers need to relabel their plants!

luis_pr- Yah, it is a topic of conversation among gardeners here, how much bigger everything gets. One of my chores this winter is to go out and remove almost everything I planted on the south side of my house. I spent a happy winter planning a lovely garden, relied on usual heights listed in my books. Much of the garden was supposed to be 2-3 ft tall, it is a 6-7 foot impenetrable jungle out there! I also need to get rid of some lovely Viburnums that are literally twice the height/width listed :-(

Thumb of 2017-11-23/Pistil/0425df

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 23, 2017 12:25 PM CST
Sooby has one in Hardiness Zone 4, which is the limit for these shrubs, so no wonder it is struggling a bit. I hope as it establishes it gets better, that really does happen sometimes.

When I said it barely survived two winters, I meant it didn't survive the third Crying Actually I think it might have been killed back to the base in the third winter and at that point I gave up on it, don't remember for sure, it's a few years ago now.
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Nov 23, 2017 9:09 PM CST
@Pistil - so glad you mentioned your Viburnum. Mine is at least 8' tall and wide - much too big for where I have it. I offered it to my daughter but have the feeling it may end up at the dump.
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Feb 3, 2018 3:35 AM CST
Pistil, if you want to make inroads on the impenetrable jungle that you described, have some dogs and squirrels frequent that area and in no time, you will have a few "interstate roads" thru the jungle. Hee hee hee. Unfortunately, that is how I lost a few shrubs. ;0) Pooches, you gotta love them.

Sorry you have to get rid of some vibirnums. I have had only two but they got pretty tall too. Had to get rid of the 8-footer. Still have a 10 or 11 footer. I still remember passing by a few vibirnums that were on sale at a nursery that I do not frequent and their flowers reminded of hydrangea lacecaps. It seemed pretty at the time but I have no idea how tall that one was supposed to get.

The thing with those miscalculations is that plants continue to grow beyond the size stated on plant labels. My brain has been accustomed to expect them to get that size and then stop by advertisements but -my fault- I never ask the plant if that is true. Ha!
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 3, 2018 8:59 AM CST
I agree, Luis. So many plants just get much larger than we expect (per the plant tags or online research) and then we're left with either moving them or deleting them. I have one viburnum and one physocarpus on the danger list.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Autumn Colour"