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Keyword Search Results for:
Hydrangea

22 Found

Question: 111-5201
We have two different of hydrangea. One is white and the other is blue. Can we trim both? Joe, Franklin, CT

Mort's Answer:
A large white ball is the Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora and it likes the sun. It can be pruned to have one stem. Cutting in August will allow growth of buds for next spring. H. hortensia is the blue or pink herbaceous hydrangea. It does best in the shade in New England. If planted in the sun, do not cut it back to 11 inches from the ground until next spring. If in the shade, you can cut it back in the late fall.

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Question: 112-5201
My hydrangea turned pink for the first time this year. It is full of flowers. Any thoughts? Jen, New London, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea is an excellent indicator of soil ph. Because of the excessive rain that most of the country including New England has experienced, the soils have leached out their natural minerals. New England soils are iron based. You can replenish them with aluminum sulfate, ammonium sulfate, epsom salts and iron sulfate. An inexpensive substitute for iron sulfate is a handful of rusty nails. I am sure that the soil will return to acidic within a short time. Pink color can also be achieved by adding lime to the soil. There is no problem, if you want to stay in the pink. If you want to add the sulfates, you will have the blues.

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Question: 113-5201
I have a blue hydrangea that has yet to produce flowers. I fertilize regularly with liquid fertilizer. The plant looks healthy otherwise. What can I do? Sheila, Charlestown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Your fertilizer is producing to much vegetative growth. I much prefer to use a granular fertilizer with a high phosphorus content. Stop the liquid. Use a granular 5-10-10 with a tablespoon of Epsom salts. Your plant will be happier, when you take care of the root of your problem.

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Question: 114-5201
My blue hydrangea has not bloomed this year. It faces south and I do not cut in back in the fall. There are a lot of green leaves. What can I do? Veronica, Westbrook, CT

Mort's Answer:
Wait. This year has been usually cloudy and rainy. The lack of sunlight in New England has stalled and diminished many blooms. You can add a handful of superphosphate or bone-meal under the plant. I suspect that you will eventually get some late but rather large flowers this year. Hydrangeas that face south are best left alone until spring. You can cut them back to the ground at that time.

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Question: 603-3511
I have a blue hydrangea that has very few flowers. It is in a sunny location. Should I cut it back? Dee, Westerly, RI

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea macrophylla hortensia grows best in the shade. If it is in the sun, wait until spring to clean it up and cut it back to 11 inches from the ground. You will find that if you transplant it in the spring into a shady area, it will give you more and larger flowers. Blue hydrangeas that are in the shade can be cut back in the fall to the same 11 inches from the ground. Bonemeal and a pinch of Epsom salts with help revive the blooms.

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Question: 615-3811
My hydrangea did not bloom this year. It has brown edges on the leaves. I gave it 10-10-10 fertilizer. What happened? James, Wilmington, NC

Mort's Answer:
Excessive water or fertilizer will cause brown edges. Do not fertilize at all next year. Cut the plant back to 11 inches, when the oak leaves begin to fall. If it is in the sun, wait until spring, Two years from now, use a small handful of bonemeal on the soil and around the roots. Excess nitrogen is the root of your problem. Do not cut back if the plant is the white P.G. Hydrangea.

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Question: 748-2012
Deer have done a job on my hydrangea. What can I do to keep them safe? Paul, Barrington RI

Mort's Answer:
Your hydrangea will come back if the bark was not gnawed.There are some repellents for deer. Rain will wash away most of these solutions. If you can repeat the sprays, you will have a partial solution. Mechanical alarms that go off will work, if your neighbors can ignore the sounds. There are also 10 and 20 foot plastic fences that are green and hardly visible to the naked eye of humans.

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Question: 869-5112
My blue hydrangea did not do well the last two years. I have not cut them back. One of them is in full sun and the other gets very little shade. Should I fertilize? Vivian, Voluntown, CT

Mort's Answer:
Now is the best time to move them to a shady spot. Because they love so much water, they do best in mostly shade and some sun. You can cut them back to 11 inches from the ground now. If you do not have a place for them, cut them back in the spring. You can fertilize with organic bonemeal or 5-10-10 fertilizer this fall after moving. Place the fertilizer on top and not in the hole.

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Question: 955-2413
My blue hydrangea is in bloom now. When can I cut it back? Linda, Pena,IL

Mort's Answer:
If the plant is in the sun, you can cut it back to 11 inches from the ground next spring. Hydrangeas prefer shade and are cut back in the fall usually. You can do some dead heading as soon as the flower starts to dry. They are excellent candidates for dried arrangements. Let the dried stems stand in a breezy location upside down of a week. Place them in a quarter inch of water in a vase later to get the full beauties.

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Question: 1046-4613
When can I cut back my blue hydrangea and how far? Marie, Charlestown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea macrophylla can be cut back as soon as the blooms have faded. Some folks like to dry them for arrangements. If they are in the shade more than six hours each day, fall is the best time to cut them to 11 inches from the ground. More hours of sun trend to make this herbaceous shrub more woody with more hollow stems. For this reason, it is recommended that h. macrophylla be cut back in the early spring to the same length.

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Question: 1113-1714
My blue hydrangea did very well two years ago but not last year. It had few blooms. I have fertilized. Can I cut it back now? It gets about six hours of sun per day. Marie, Charlestown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Because it gets more shade than sun, it should be cut back in the fall. Last year we had an early spring with lots of sun and heat. This would account for the increase in blooms. You can add some bonemeal or 5-10-10 fertilizer art the leaf drop to assist the plant this year. When you cut it back this fall, cut it to 11 inches from the ground.

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Question: 1136-2614
I have blue hydrangea that has always been a prolific bloomer in the past. This year the leaves are at the bottom with no buds. It is in the shade and I never have cut them back. Can I cut the brown stalks off now? Pete, East Lyme, CT

Mort's Answer:
Cut them down to the leaves. If you want to repeat good blooms, you need to cut back the stems to 11 inches from the ground each fall. You can add some bonemeal now to the soil. This winter has been very difficult for plants that require a lot of water. Alternating freezing and thawing dry plants out. We are expecting more snow in winters because of global warming. You can soak your plants with a lot of water prior to first frost around October one.

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Question: 1145-3014
I have had seven blue hydrangeas that have not bloomed for last three years. There is dead wood in the bushes. What can I do? Half are in the shade. I have not cut them back each year or given them fertilizer.. Bryan, Westerly, RI

Mort's Answer:
Every fall cut the ones that get less than eight hours sunlight each day. Hydrangea macraphylla needs to be cut each year down to 11 inches from the ground. Those that get more than eight hours sunlight need to be cut down in the spring. Because H. macraphylla is herbaceous, it requires a great deal of water during the summer and before the frost comes in the fall. Dead wood this year has been prominent because of the severe winter. Cut out all dead wood now down to the next branch. Give each plant a small handful of bonemeal.

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Question: 1159-3514
My hydrangeas had very few flowers. We have white, blue and pink. They are all the herbaceous type. They are in shade and we cut them back to a foot from the ground every year. Joe, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Southern New England plants suffered a long cold winter and a very cool spring. A lot of plants barely survived including Butterfly Bush and many perennials. Give each plant a handful of 5-10-10 fertilizer. This will help add phosphorus to the soil. This fall after you have cut back the hydrangeas, soak up the soil. This will allow more moisture for the plants when the finally thaw in the spring. Your hydrangeas will love you for it.

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Question: 1267-2515
My hydrangea has not bloomed for the last four years. We cut it back down to the ground every year for the winter. No luck. When I bought it , it had blue flowers. It gets about six hours of sun each day. What do you suggest? Bonnie, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea macrophylla needs to be cut back each year to 11 inches from the ground. This herbaceous plant blooms on new wood but needs strong stems to produce the flower bearing branches. It is too late this year to get a flower. In the fall cut it back. If it were in the sun most of the time, I would recommend doing this in the spring.

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Question: 1277-2815
I have two 65 year old large six foot white hydrangea that did not bloom at all this year. My blue hydrangeas that have mostly sun were very sparse as well. I have used liquid fertilizer on the blue and nothing on the whites. What happened? Evelyn , Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
This year presented some problems for a lot of spring bloomers. You should refrain from using liquid fertilizers on shrubs. Your Pee Gee white hydrangeas need a boost of phosphorus. Dig a dozen holes about four feet from the trunk in a circle. Go down two feet if you can. Fill the holes with 510-10 fertilizer. Sprinkle a handful around each H.macrophylla and add a pinch of Epsom salts. This need not be repeated for five years. Your blues need to be cut back in the early spring to a foot from the ground.

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Question: 1298-3715
My herbaceous hydrangea is in the shade except for two hours around noon. It had flowers the first year that I purchased it. The second year it had none . In the third year a few. This fourth year it is four and a half feet tall with a lot of blooms. What is happening? Barbara, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea macrophylla requires pruning back each year to a foot from the ground. Because it is in mostly shade, this cutting back should be done this fall after the plant is through with the blooms. Some folks like to dry them by hanging them upside down.

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Question: 1338-5215
I want to put my potted blue hydrangea in the basement for the winter. Any advice? June, Mansfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
Cut it back to a foot from the root. Water it very rarely and keep it cool until May 15, which is your last average frost date. You could repot it in a two inch larger clay pot now with a third sand and good sterile potting soil.

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Question: 1352-2716
I am thinking of buying a blue hydrangea now. Is this a good time? Do they need much water? Pat Stonington, CT

Mort's Answer:
Box stores in particular have a difficult time keeping them alive at this time of year. They lose a lot of water in those black plastic pots. They want them out the door as soon as possible. Hydra means water in Greek and Latin. Because of this need they will do best planted in shade or mostly shade. Soak it up good when you plant and water again in three to four days unless it rains. Do not fertilize. You do not want to burn the roots. When you plant, mix the outside soil with the peaty soil of the hydrangea. Peat acts as a sponge and pulls the moisture from the surrounding soil. You need to establish a good root system to avoid repeat watering.

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Question: 1355-2716
Where do I plant my two foot high hydrangea? I got a buy for eight dollars. Jim, Salem CT

Mort's Answer:
Hydrangea macrophylla will grow in the sun and could turn to a pink. It does best in a shady spot. You get less evaporation of water and can maintain a pH close to acidity and its blue color. If you want to be in the pink in the shade, add lime every year to the soil.

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Question: 314-5201
My blue hydrangea did not bloom this year. Was it lack of water? It is on the east side of the house and gets a half day of shade. Should I cut it back now? Marie, Charlestown, RI

Mort's Answer:
You can cut back the hydrangea within 11 of the ground, if it is getting shade during the day now. I do not like to cut back hydrangea in the sunny locations until late spring. If there is any dieback, it can be cut off in the spring. Hydra is Greek for water. It isn't surprising that a water deficient hydrangea didn't bloom in this dry summer in New England. They require a great deal of water to thrive. You could add some bonemeal to the soil to replenish the phosphorus in the soil. A tablespoon of Epsom salts or iron sulfate will help set the flower for next year.

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Question: 315-5201
My pink hydrangea has rather large buds. With the prolonged warm weather, I am afraid that it will throw out a flower. Should I cover it? Ruth, Buckhannon, WV

Mort's Answer:
When the January thaw occurs, plants will have upper growth. Cell growth is larger and bud shells give the appearance of opening. Just as soon as the temperatures lower cell growth is shorter and the buds appear to be tightening. Unless a warm spell lasts several weeks, I wouldn't be concerned. In zone 6 hydrangea blooms in July.I have seen forsythia throw out some flowers in February during a thaw in zone 6 but Mother Nature compensates with extra growth for the spring blooms. Hydrangea would throw out leaves before the flower. Just as it does during the spring and summer. One plus worth mentioning is that we are also getting substantial root growth during the thaws, which makes for larger plants and flowers this year.

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