Heavenly Hydrangeas

Last summer, one of our customers commented that his Hydrangea mop head plants weren’t blooming well. I speculated that the plants were probably experiencing excessive exposure to the cold winter, so I created a solution. I staked and wrapped every bush with burlap making sure to cover each bush completely. The wrapping remained intact all winter until about mid April when I removed the burlap. I knew the experiment was a success when our customer very happily reported that his Hydrangeas had many blooms this summer! You can see for yourself in the photos on the cover of this newsletter.

Flowering problems can also be caused by improper siting or mistimed pruning. Most Hydrangeas grow best where there is at least some morning sun and a bit of afternoon shade. Few Hydrangeas do well in deep or total shade. They like rich, moist soil and lots of water. If the soil is poor, be sure to enrich it with organic matter. Hydrangeas don’t require much pruning and overzealous pruning or pruning at the wrong time will
cause lack of flowering.

This past summer my wife and I were lucky enough to return to one of our favorite spots, Nantucket. While we were there, we visited the famous Hydrangea Farm in Madaket, which is run by our family friend, Malcolm Condon, Sr.. It’s a wondrous place and we highly recommend visiting it if you’re ever vacationing in Nantucket. You can now select from hundreds of species of Hydrangea. In fact, we saw some beautiful new varieties now available to us, which flower more easily. We recommend “Endless Summer” and “Dooley” for the home gardener. Both of these plants produce blooms on old and new wood. This means they are less affected by mistimed or severe pruning because they don’t depend solely on the old wood to bloom. You might want to consider adding either of these gorgeous Hydrangeas bloomers to complement your landscape.

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