“Why won’t my hydrangeas bloom?” Well, it’s the number one garden question.
There are many answers. One common problem is that the most popular type of hydrangea grown in our area is hydrangea macrophylla, often referred to as mophead.
That type of hydrangea isn’t best suited for our climate. Often times the buds will freeze out.
What I do to help them during the winter is to surround the plant with burlap, leaving the top open. This protects the buds from very cold winter winds.
The other thing that stops hydrangeas from blooming is improper pruning. Mopheads and some other types of hydrangeas bloom on old wood. Meaning after they bloom, they put buds on that will sit all winter and then bloom in the summer. If those buds are removed, the plant can’t bloom.
Wait until right after the plant blooms to do any pruning. Wait too long and your risking the buds.
In my garden, I’ve slowly converted to other types of hydrangeas that are more reliable bloomers. One of my favorites is the oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). The plant has many seasons of interest. In winter the plant sports a beautiful orangish exfoliating bark. Then beautiful conical white blooms which fade to pink. In the fall the large green oak leaf shaped foliage turns deep red.
The Endless Summer brand of hydrangeas offer a plant that’s a reliable bloomer. Many of the plants put buds on new and old wood.
‘Annabelle’ (Hydrangea arborescens) is one of the only hydrangeas that can be cut to the ground at the end of the season and blooms profusely every season.
There’s a new variety I had on the show called ‘Invincibelle Spirit.’ It’s the first pink annabelle variety. $1.00 from each Invincibelle Spirit sold is donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
‘Doublicious’ hydrangea has a double flower form and is a repeat bloomer. I’ve put three in my garden and I love them so far.
All the plants I had on the show came from Hahn Nursery in Ross, 412-635-7475.
With the arrival of hot weather we look at some of my favorite plants which don’t need a lot of water.
The first plant on the list is sedum. It come in many shapes and sizes and it indestructible. It’s a sun lover which blooms late in the season.
Salvia ‘May Night’ is one of my favorite perennial plants. It starts blooming in June, then slows down in a few weeks. When that happens cut it back, fertilize and water and it will come back and bloom until the end of the season.
Black eyed Susans don’t need much water at all. They are beautiful and filled with blossoms all summer.
There are a multitude of ornamental grasses which rarely need watering in through the summer. The short blue/green grasses will combine with other annual or perennials.
Drought resistant plants are perfect for sunny, well-drained areas.
All the plants on the show were from Hahn Nursery in Ross, 412-635-7475.
The Fourth of July marks the date most nurseries start to discount plants in an effort to get the plants a good home. this is a great time to plant, pick an overcast day, add some compost and water everything in.
Here’s a long list of things on sale at Hahn Nursery in Ross. They are located at Three Degree and Babcock Roads and can be reached at 412-635-7475.
Introductions from Monrovia, plants are large and full
Karl Foerester Grass 5g
Zebra Grass 5g
Hydrangea Invincibelle 2g & 5g
Hydrangea Incredible 2g & 5g
Hydrangea Limelight 1g & 2g
Hydrangea Pinky Winky 1g
Quick Fire 1g
All Roses Except Knock Outs 50% off
Phantom Black & Yellow Petunias Reg $4.99, now $.99
Heart of Italy Tomatoes Reg $3.99, now $.50
Quart Perennials Reg $6.99, now $2.99
Big Showy Zinnias Reg $19.99, now $8.99
Citrus Fruit Trees 50% off
HGTV Combo Planters Reg $59.99, now $29.99
All Fuschia $8.99
Glazed Pottery 50%off
Big combo baskets for half off too, $12.99.
There are lots of other specials at the nursery too.