Hydrangea help

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Alaina, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. Alaina

    Alaina New Member

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    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Last year I bought two small hydrangea’s that were in rough shape very late in the season, and they died back to the ground. I thought they weren’t coming back this year but they started growing leaves from the base in the late spring! I have no idea what type they are, should I just leave any growth there in the fall or prune them? Is there a possibility they could flower this year? They are located in full sun and I have been fertilizing them about once a month since April.
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    I don't think there is much chance they will bloom this year. I would just allow the plants to grow and build resources in their tissues for future years, so unless there is some need to prune them, I wouldn't take that path either. Maybe once they get to a good size and/or flowering, you can post a photo here to identify -- that may help with developing a long-term pruning regime.
    Margot likes this.
  3. Luis_pr

    Luis_pr New Member

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    Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas USDA Zone 7B/8A
    Hello, Alaina. Depending on the "type"/species of hydrangea that you have, you m-a-y have a chance of blooms.

    The type of hydrangea can be one those listed below; see if this helps you tell which one you have:

    * Macrophyllas - Also called Big Leaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea and Hortensia, this is the most common type of hydrangea and the one that most people think of when they say "hydrangea". It produces blooms whose bloom form is either a mophead or lacecap bloom form. The macrophylla blooms can be either white, a shade of pink, a shade of purple, a shade of blue and several other colors that new varieties now offer.

    All macrophyllas bloom by developing flower buds at the end of the growing season, say 2020. Those 2020 flower buds were located inside the ends of last year's stems so they were not visible then. When they open in Spring, they resemble little broccoli heads. If the old 2020 stems in your plant had survived winter 2020-2021, you would have gotten blooms in Spring 2021/early Summer 2021. Since the old 2020 stems did not survive, you got no blooms from them. But.... there is still a chance for blooms with the newer varieties. Do you know the name of your cultivar? Some of these varieties are remontant (think: Endless Summer Series, Together & Ever Series, etc.). Remontant varieties have the ability to also produce flower buds in late Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 from the new 2021 stems that started growing in Spring 2021. These new 2021 stems typically begin to bloom during the Summer months or early Fall.

    Your shrub was recently purchased so it is possible that it is remontant. If so, it would produce blooms twice every growing season, once from the old wood and later, from the new growth that gets tall/old enough. The only way to know that your plant is remontant -for sure- is to wait and see if it blooms later than normal for other macrophyllas from this year's new growth. Or of course, if you find the plant label and see if it says something about the plant being a "rebloomer hydrangea".

    * Serratas - Also called Mountain Hydrangea, this one is a smaller version of macrophyllas that can be useful to grow in colder areas. Most of its bloom forms are lacecap but a few are mopheads. Most serratas only bloom on last year's stems but there are several new varieties (think: Tough Series) that are remontant. Blooms are either white, a shade of blue, a shade of pink or a shade of purple.

    * Arborescens - Also called Smooth Hydrangea, this type is very cold hardy and develops flower buds in Spring that open quickly. If it were to lose last year's stems, it would produce new 2021 stems that develop flower buds in late Spring 2021 and then bloom. The most common variety is called Annabelle. The blooms are either mophead or lacecap forms that start green, white or a shade of pink.

    * Paniculatas - Also called Pee Gee Hydrangeas, these type is very cold hardy and sun tolerant. They develop flower buds in early Summer that open quickly. If it were to lose last year's stems, it would produce new 2021 stems that develop flower buds and then bloom this year 2021. They have panicle shaped blooms start start either green or white.

    * Quercifolia - Also called Oakleaf Hydrangea, its leaves resemble oak leaves, are very drought tolerant (compared to other hydrangeas), have amazing Fall foliage and bloom from flower buds developed a the end of last year's growing season. Their flowers are panicle shaped and can be either single or double blossom types. Very good bloomers in shady spots too. More winter hardy than macrophyllas but not as winter hardy as arborescens and paniculatas.

    * Climbing, Aspera and other varieties - these tend to bloom only once per growing season only.

    To see pictures of sample blooms of these hydrangeas, click on this link: The Complete Guide to All Hydrangea Types | Plant Addicts

    If your hydrangea turns out not to be remontant, it can be winter protected once the plant goes dormant in the Fall 2021. If you are able to do that, the old stems might be able to survive the winter and bloom in Spring/early Summer.

    Does this help you? Luis
    Georgia Strait likes this.

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