Hydragenea Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by JBRONCFAN, Jun 23, 2012.


    JBRONCFAN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Yeah, I know it's' not a grass question but SOMEONE must be able to help me out.

    I have this 25 year old blue Hydragenea and it's beautiful. The one thing I didn't like about it is that it put out these huge blooms like, only 10 and left tons of foliage left over. Like you saw more green then you did blue.

    Read up and decided last year to prune and I pruned at the right time. I felt the huge blooms where blocking out light to develop more grow spots. I pruned mid-June cause the beginning of August is when they start making bud spots. I also cut 1/3 of the plant down too which worked great for my purple Hydrangea.

    So this year the smaller purple hyrdrangea has almost doubled in size, problably cause I cut a bunch of low lying branches but my blue Hydrangea, which is twice the size of the purple, is not blooming at all. It has one bloom on it.

    I don't need an answer to this, obviously I pruned too much plant down but my question is if I don't touch it for a year, will it return to it's glory days? Is there anything I can do to help this along? (besides not touching it).
  2. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

  3. Kylec3

    Kylec3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    dont touch it and next year you will prob have more blooms then you ever had
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I agree......the hydrangea is a showy plant. It is showy here in the south around june, july and fizzles out in August. I prune ours in Feb or March but recover quickly and still flower out.
    Sometimes, considering the weather we all have had........you know hot and cold, warm to cool, these plants went through periods of bud break, then frost, bud break then a cool spell followed by warm spells. Crazy isn't?? The blooms may be harmed this season and will recover next season as the regrowth returns. Don't do anything to the pH as this will alter the color of your blooms from blue to pink. Use a slow release fertilizer for growth and not so much on salinic--fast response fertilizers.
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160


    I agree with those who say leave it alone for now. I would recommend adding an organic fertilizer or good compost in the fall.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Too much N can affect many garden plants to produce more foliage than blossoms... Tomatoes are especially sensitive to that, for example... have you been fertilizing this plant already???
  7. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    If I read correctly, he has and the bush has bolted instead of flowered.

    It has been my education to not throw heavy nitrogen on flowering plants, but to administer phosphorus and potassium instead. I thought it was a basic thing to encourage the essential elements needed for florescence instead of leaf growth. Energy is utilized during flower growth and after these stages are fed then a lower dosage of slow release nitrate can be delivered.

    In all other lawns I service, the other service provider has hit the lawns with urea.........the Z spreaders have thrown this stuff all on the shrubbery too. Talking about bolting to excessive growth.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Not sure that I've ever saw a hydrangea 'bolt'... when annuals bolt, that means ending their cycle with a seed head/flower, in which case the blue flowers would appear in that process... you may want to explain your definition of 'bolt'... :)
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Sorry--Terminology misuse of a different region. The term should be considered flush growth. I agree that too much N could flush new growth quickly. In terms of certain plants, the energy to place growth outweighs the bloom process. It is about the timing of the nitrogen application.
    Bolting is the process of a plant or flower and vegetable to send out the flower. I didn't mean to use the Term--"Bolt" in this situation. (All week I have been dealing with garden issues of bolting tomato's). I think my train of thought is still in that mode.!!

    JBRONCFAN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    First, thanks to all who replied.

    The plant is about 7 foot tippy top and about 7 foot wide and it's been on the side of our 46 year old house for at least 25 years. It's a sight to see coming down the road, huge baby blue blooms. I don't know who or when added the 2nd, smalled hydrandea which is 15 feet away but gets purple blooms. Pretty neat, eh? We all know the color difference is from the acid/alkalinity of the soil. Weird cause the blue is REAL blue and the purple is REAL purple. You would think they would be pink or something being so close but their roots are about 15 ft cross.

    Fortunately my pruning and cutting of lower tree branches ended up working out GREAT for the purple hydrangea which is about 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Last year it was a LOT smaller than that and it had tons of tiny blooms. Go figure, the big, blue one had too few that were massive and the purple had way too many but were too small. I definitely found balance this year with the purple one and so far failed with the big blue one.

    It's pretty easy when everyone says "leave it alone" which I had planned to do. Nothing else I can do with it anyway. If I fertilize a plant I use a blooming fertilizer.

    Speaking of hydrangea and after the Knockout Roses I should have known they were coming.......they are now cross breeding species to perform like the Knockouts. I have an Encore Hydrangea I planted last year, right in the corner of our fences. This is the first year of blooms and it is blooming like crazy. It bloomed a full month before the purple one did. It's in a different spot in the yard so I don't know if that made a difference or not but the thing is STILL rockin' blooms. I'll keep everyone informed, for their help, in the performance of these Encore Hyrdrangeas. Plants that do more you can charge your customers more for!!!

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