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August 2015

Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,



Welcome to the August 2015 edition of the Hydrangeas Plus e-mail newsletter.  Yes, summer is almost over and in no time at all, the kids will be going back to school and soccer, dance, piano, etc.  I may as well just call this the September newsletter, too.  But no, I will do the September one as well.  I must!  Lots of good stuff happening this month and next so definitely would like to share with you.
A quick note, we are in between crops right now but hopefully, will have most of all we sell back in stock later this month.  Fall is a fabulous time to plant shrubs and trees in most areas.  Just be sure that the plants have enough time before the hard frost come.  Those roots need time to get established.  After leaf drop, a layer of garden mulch will keep those roots growing, too.  Email me if you’d like to be notified when a certain plant is back in stock and ready to ship or if you have any questions about fall planting.

What’s happening at Hydrangeas Plus

It is hot!  I don’t remember a summer we didn’t ship so many days.  We have had 30 days over 85 degrees – totally unheard of before.  Temperatures were over 90 degrees for 10 days in a row!  People may be loving this weather but the poor hydrangeas – ah, not so much.  Water, water and more water!  But the new crop is growing and looking great. 

Open dates set

We will be selling plants at Sebright Gardens on August 22nd, for the 3rd annual Jewel Box Plant sale.  Hours are 9am to 3pm.  This is part of our Cascade Nursery Trail schedule of events.  Host Sebright Gardens (7185 Lakeside Dr NE – Salem OR 97305) has acres and acres of display gardens.  Our group of nine specialty nurseries will be there selling our wonderful plants.  Please visit the website for more information.!events/cfvg


We will be open for retail sales September 11th, 12th & 13th.  Hours are set for noon to 4pm but check the website before you venture out to our place.  Soccer season is upon us, sorry if I have to change a little.  Most plants will be back in stock!

Our final Cascade Nursery Trail event is September 26th & 27th.  This is our Fall Color Festival.  Each of the nine specialty nurseries will be open from 10am to 5pm.  Display gardens and great prices, too!!events/cfvg
Heritage Hydrangea Conference in Sandwich, MA
I had the pleasure to attend the conference this last month.  It was an amazing trip, conference and experience.  Cape Cod is certainly the mecca for hydrangeas.  I couldn’t believe they were growing in full sun!  It happened to be hot and humid for the first few days of my visit so I did see a few sad hydrangeas but as soon as the weather changed, hydrangeas popped right back.
Check out of our facebook and Instagram pages for some beautiful photos! Thank you to Mal Condon and Dr. Michael Dirr for putting together a fantastic lineup of speakers!  And did I mention the garden tours?  Just spectacular!
If you are ever in that area, please visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens – home to the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society’s hydrangea collection.  Over 140 cultivars!  This ever growing collection features many of our hydrangeas but also has a vast collection donated by some of the leading breeders/horticultural companies.

Some questions and answers I’ve addressed quite a bit lately.  Maybe you have the same questions...
Q  I have two hydrangea macrophylla blaumeise. I have had them for approximately 3-4 yrs. they have never bloomed. I do NOT prune them, they are in sun/shade. I have read and re-read on the Internet how to care for them and it is totally confusing regarding do they bloom off old wood or new? How and when to prune. We leave 1st of October for Fl. So I am not here in the winter. Would appreciate any/all advice you could offer. your website is very impressive that is why i decided to ask you the questions?
First, let me share with you thoughts about the not-blooming.  Are they possibly in too much shade?  Hydrangeas really do need some sun to bloom well.  They don't like full sun or the hot sun but morning or late afternoon is good.

Do they die back to the ground every year?  This variety blooms on old wood, meaning that the growth from this year will set buds for next year.  Blaumeise and the entire Teller collection bloom on old wood so if the old wood doesn't survive, you won't get blooms.

Too much fertilizing could also be the cause.  Hydrangeas bloom better if they are a little stressed.  I usually fertilize once with a balanced, time-released fertilizer in March and then wait to fertilize again when buds start to form.

Pruning is tricky but one rule always helps.  Always cut on the green stems.  You can cut anytime now until September-ish, a full 6 weeks before your historic first frost.  If you prune now, you will get lots of good growth before they go dormant for winter.  Do they need to be pruned?  Now is a good time to prune for size, since you haven't pruned them before.  Fertilize again after pruning but no later than mid-August.  You don't want too much nitrogen in the plant for winter.  It increases the chance of freeze damage.
If it dies back to the ground, you'll see no new growth from the oldest canes, just from the base.  That may be what is happening if all you see is woody stems with no green growth on them.  You can cut that old woody growth out of the plant at any time.

It may be your cold winters that are killing the old wood.  The last two were brutal from coast to coast.  Covering them in the winter would be a great help to getting blooms next summer.

Q  I would like to order hydrangeas; however, I do not want them until fall. What is the best way to do this as I do want them just need a later ship date. I can pay for them now and you can ship later in the fall.

A  Order anytime and specify the fall ship date you would like.  I think I have plenty but it is always a good idea to order early.

We don't ship in pots so have the area prepared before we ship or have some containers waiting. We ship on Mondays, Tuesdays and can do Wednesday (on the west coast) if that works better for you. 

Q  Can "adult" hydrangeas be moved successfully? I failed with a previous attempt. I have two that should be moved to enhance their beauty, as well as the beauty of the plants around them. Pls advise if there is a proven method. And when would be best? Fall or spring?

A  I have always preferred the fall to move larger hydrangeas.  They will need lots of water and Mother Nature helps us with that. 
Be sure you get a good portion of the roots too.  The roots usually don't go very deep but they can be wide, almost as wide as the branching system itself.



Jewel Box
Sebright Gardens
August 22nd
10am to 3pm

Open house
Hydrangeas Plus
September 11, 12, 13
Hours TDB

Colors of Fall
Cascade Trail Nursery Event
September 26 & 27
10am to 5pm


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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus

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