Hydrangea Care & Maintenance
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Forever & Ever Hydrangea Videos
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Forever & Ever Hydrangea FAQ's
My hydrangea isn't blooming! What can I do?
If your plants are not blooming, there are two likely causes. The first is a lack of sufficient sunlight-your plant should be getting a few hours of sunlight per day-preferably in the morning. If hydrangeas don’t get enough sunlight, they will be healthy and have lush foliage, but no blooms. If your plant is not in a sunny location, you may want to consider moving it this fall. Another cause of a lack of flowering is incorrect fertilization. Many fertilizers have a surplus of nitrogen in them (if the package has 3 numbers on it, that would be the first one, ex 15-8-11). When plants have too much nitrogen, they put all their energy into producing lush foliage, and don’t produce blooms. You should apply a balanced (10-10-10 or 12-12-12), slow release, granular fertilizer in the spring, to keep your plant healthy all season long.
Do I need to fertilize my hydrangea? When should I do this, and what should I use?
Yes, you should fertilize you plant. We recommend a balanced (the package should say 10-10-10, 12-12-12 or similar), slow-release, granular fertilizer. You should apply this once, according to the directions on the package. We advise that you do this before the 4th of July; if you don’t then you should wait until the next year.
Why is my hydrangea wilting?
Your plant is probably not getting enough water. Hydrangeas have fairly high water needs, especially right after they are planted and are getting established. You may need to water them daily or every few days for the first few months; after the roots have developed and can distribute the water more efficiently they will not require as much water.
How can I change the color of my hydrangea?
Forever & Ever Hydrangeas produce beautiful pink or blue blooms depending on soil pH. Alkaline soils will produce pink blooms, whereas acidic soil will result in blue blooms. To determine whether your soil is alkaline or acidic, ask your garden center professional or State Extension Agent how to obtain a soil test. If the pH is just right you may have both pink and blue flowers on the plant at the same time.
Change from Pink to Blue: Add aluminum sulfate according to package directions to lower the soil pH. Your soil will produce blue flowers at a pH level of about 5.2-5.5.
Change from Blue to Pink: Add dolomitic lime according to package directions to raise the soil pH. Your soil will produce pink flowers at a pH level of about 6.0-6.2.
Forever & Ever Hydrangea In Containers
Check out this use of Forever & Ever White Out partnered with Begonias and Ornamental Grass. Always an option: plant in containers for the Spring/Summer and then move to the landscape in the Fall. Simply gorgeous, prolific color.
Plants shown in photo: Solenia Begonia (tough and care free, like dry soil); Hakonechloa mac. Aureola-Japanese Forest grass (also a nice addition to container or landscape); and Forever & Ever White Out (bright white 8″ mophead blooms).
Photo taken by: Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension Educator
Top 10 Reasons to Love Forever & Ever Hydrangea
There’s nothing wrong with the old-fashioned “snowball” hydrangeas at grandma’s house. But today’s hydrangeas have gotten a makeover, offering homeowners more choices than ever before. Count down the top 10 reasons to plant them in your landscape.
Hydrangeas come in an impressive array of shades.
10. One for any climate.
Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are the toughest, surviving even a Minnesota winter. The flowers form in a large cone shape (called a panicle) and prefer full sun.
Smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) are the second hardiest, growing well in cool climates. Flowers form in a snowball shape. The best-known variety, “Annabelle,” was discovered growing near Anna, Illinois. It prefers partial shade.
Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia), native to the southeast United States, grow in partial shade, showing off attractive shaggy bark, large panicles and oakleaf-shape leaves that sport burgundy or red fall color. Grow a dwarf variety if you have a small yard. Oakleaves tolerate drier conditions than other types.
Mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) display the showiest flower heads and grow best with morning sun, afternoon shade and plenty of moisture. These are the ones people think of when they hear the word “hydrangea.”
The Forever & Ever® series of hydrangeas (all mopheads) promises continuous blooms. Technically, they’re “remontant,” which simply means they bloom on new and old wood. Add a controlled-release, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer to the soil in spring for a bloom boost. Since new stems grow throughout the summer, keep spent flower clipped to promote new flowers.
8. Beautiful bouquets.
Wait until the flower heads become slightly dry before cutting hydrangeas for bouquets. For fresh bouquets, make an angled cut and place stems into water laced with a floral preservative. Air-dry hydrangeas by hanging them upside down or just arrange them without water in a large vase.
The star attractions on some hydrangea varieties are their colorful leaves, such as chartreuse-yellow “Lemon Daddy” or variegated green-and-white First Editions Light-O-Day.
6. Pink or blue.
Hydrangeas come in an impressive array of shades including pure white, chartreuse green, blues, purples and pinks. A mophead hydrangea turns blue only if there’s aluminum present, found naturally in acidic soils. If your soil is alkaline, add aluminum sulfate to turn blooms blue or just enjoy the pink color.
Did you know
The Forever & Ever® series of hydrangeas (all mopheads) promises continuous blooms. Technically, they’re “remontant,” which simply means they bloom on new and old wood. Add a controlled- release, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer to the soil in spring for a bloom boost. Since new stems grow throughout the summer, keep spent flowers clipped to promote new flowers.
5. Bicolor or double petals.
The cute Forever & Ever® Peppermint looks like someone took a brush and painted a stripe down the center of each petal. Forever & Ever® Double Pink produces twice the number of petals on each tiny flower.
Take a mophead hydrangea, flatten its top and you’ve got a showy lacecap. Forever & Ever® Summer Lace is the newest of the reblooming lacecaps on the market.
3. Monsters or dwarfs.
Want soccer ball–sized flowers? Check out Incrediball, a smooth hydrangea variety. Want a small potted hydrangea for your patio? Many of the mopheads grow less than three feet tall, well suited for a large container.
2. Sun or shade.
Hydrangeas need some sun to bloom well, but they don’t want to bake in the afternoon; place mopheads in partial shade or a spot where they get afternoon shade. If you’ve only got full sun, grow panicle hydrangeas. The farther north you live, the more sun the plants need to bloom profusely.
And the No. 1 reason to love hydrangeas?
1. All of the above!
Flowering Shrubs: More Bang For The Buck
Whether you use shrubs as foundation plantings, for a hedge or simply as a single specimen in your garden, you can get double the punch when you plant a flowering variety.
Shrubs are low-maintenance solutions in most yards. They fill larger amounts of space than perennials and can form the backbone of a garden’s structure. Some easy-care flowering shrubs offer value-added impact.
Freshen up your garden with pink and white peppermintstriped hydrangeas.
‘Henry’s Garnet’ Sweetspire
‘Henry’s Garnet’ Sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’) is an excellent replacement for the invasive old burning bush in your yard. Fragrant finger-length sprays of tiny white flowers adorn the shrub in spring, giving the appearance of a white waterfall. In autumn, brilliant red leaves make it a traffic stopper. Perhaps best of all, it’s highly adaptable to most conditions. Reaching three to four feet tall and four to six feet wide, ‘Henry’s Garnet’ prefers full sun but takes dappled shade. It likes moist soil but tolerates drought when established.
For an unexpected jolt of blue flowers in late summer when you least expect them, plant Caryopteris, sometimes called blue mist, bluebeard or blue spirea. The cobalt-blue flowers of “First Choice” or the pure blue flowers of “Longwood Blue” attract butterflies and hummingbirds. For a contrast between foliage and flowers, look for “Sunshine Blue” with yellow-chartreuse leaves and amethyst-blue flowers. Plant blue mist in full sun or in afternoon shade. Most reach three to five feet tall and two to four feet wide.
Old-fashioned weigelas—dependable growers with showy, trumpet-shaped spring flowers in pink, red, white or yellow—have gotten a makeover in recent years, offering many choices of leaf color. Selections with burgundy, butter-yellow and variegated green and white or green and yellow leaves can perk up your yard even when the shrub isn’t in bloom (some will rebloom in late summer or fall). Weigelas come in a wide range of sizes, from about a foot tall to six to eight feet, and are pretty hardy.
For the longest-flowering shrub, consider a hydrangea. Beautiful mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) now come in reblooming varieties. Hydrangeas in the Forever & Ever series bloom on both old and new wood. Choose from pink (blue in acidic soils) or white flowers or the cute bicolor pink and white of “Peppermint” for a color boost that begins in early summer and lasts until frost. Even then, you can leave the dried flowers on the shrub for winter interest. The new Summer Lace variety grows with a flat-top lacecap form. Grow them in morning sun and afternoon shade in well-drained, organic-rich soil. Most of these hardy plants reach three to four feet tall.
Common Hydrangea Diseases
- Powdery Mildew
The ear¬liest sign of powdery mildew is the presence of small circular white patches with feathery edges randomly scattered across the lower surfaces of one or more leaves. Yellow or purple blotches may also appear, particu¬larly on the upper leaf surface.
Under ideal conditions, patches will rapidly increase in size until the surfaces of the leaves and tender shoots are covered with the white, cottony fungal growth. The foliage of heavily diseased hydrangea is often stunted and off-color. The beauty and size of the flowers of powdery mildew-damaged hydrangeas will also be greatly reduced, as young stems and flower stalks are infected and killed off.
- Ideal Conditions
Usually worse in shady sites and when the relative humidity approaches 95 percent, powdery mildew often affects plants that are under stress. The warm days, cool nights, and light rainfall of the spring and fall favor disease out¬breaks. Typically, frequent showers will suppress the devel¬opment of powdery mildew.
- Prevention and treatment
Regular feeding, mulching and watering will reduce the likelihood of mildew attacks. Good air circulation around the plant is also helpful. Ask your local garden center for a fungicide for powdery mildew on hydrangeas.
- Cercospora Leaf Spot
Scattered, small circular brown or purple spots first appear on leaves near the base of the plant. The centers of these spots eventually turn tan to light gray in color and are sur¬rounded by a brown or purple halo. The spots are usually about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter. This combination of a pale center and dark margin is usually called a frogeye leaf-spot pattern. The spotting of the leaves, which usually starts in midsummer, is most noticeable by early fall.
Heavy spotting of the leaves and pre¬mature leaf shed may reduce plant vigor and flower bud set.
- Ideal Conditions
Frequent late summer rain showers will not only greatly increase the rate of disease spread, but also intensify the level of leaf spotting and defoliation. Extended periods of drought will usually suppress disease development and spread.
- Prevention and Treatment
Remove dead diseased leaves, as fallen diseased leaves are the primary source of spores. Water at root ball rather than on leaves, and avoid watering late in the day. Ask your local garden center for a fungicide for leaf spot on hydrangeas.
Forever & Ever Hydrangea Planting Directions
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Forever & Ever Hydrangea Pruning Directions
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