Sunday, July 3, 2011

Endless Summer Hydrangea Mystery

I have two Endless Summer hydrangeas in my yard - I have had them for several years.  They have always bloomed sporadically - some years they have lots of blooms and some years very few. 

Last year I had ZERO blooms.  The previous year I had a handful of blooms between the two. 

After zero blooms last summer - the Endless Non-Blooming Summer - I gave up on them and decided thatin the spring I would dig them up and move them some where else in the yard where they would be less visible.

This spring I had very little time for gardening so I didn't move them and guess what happened?  They bloomed more than they ever have - each shrub has at least 50 blooms!  I don't know why -  I did not fertilize them.  Actually, I completely ignored them. Normally I have to trim off the dead wood since in my Massachusetts garden they die back almost to the ground every year, but this year they did not die back.  I'm assuming because we had a lot of snow this year so they were well insulated?

Has anyone else had this happen with their Endless Summers?  Maybe it was all the rain we got this year? It's a mystery to me.

Here are some pics:


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Yes, Endless Summer is not consistent in my zone 5 area. I learned this year that it is nitrogen sensitive and does not respond the same way as other hydrangeas to acid based fertilizers. Miracid has too much nitrogen for Endless Summer.

This is probably why they bloomed this year because you didn't feed them. I use Espoma and supposedly this is preferable to other high nitrogen acid fertilizers. But, your method seems to have worked better, no fertilizer.


Sunray Gardening said...

They are sure gorgeous. I have Hydrangea Forever and Ever and am not real happy either. If they die at the root this year they are being removed next year. I don't think either one of these are all they are cracked up to be.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Karen said...

I wish I understood hydrangeas better, too. They just mystify me, though their flowers are so beautiful. I wish mine looked like yours, Tracy!

HolleyGarden said...

I think Endless Summer hydrangeas blooms on both old and new wood. If you've been trimming off the dead wood (and perhaps some of the new when trimming), but didn't this year, that would explain why this year you've had so many more blooms. Yours is beautiful. Love the variegated hosta in front of it. Thanks for visiting my blog. I've loved seeing your garden.

Diane said...

Well, they indeed ARE gorgeous. Did you get the blue and pink ones by adding things to the soil, or did they just come that way?

I bought the pink Endless Summer last spring and it did well. This year it is very small and growing at a snail's pace. Actually I was sure it hadn't survived the winter - it was the very last thing to show signs of life.

I'll do a post on hydrangeas later in the summer. Not that I know anything about them, I'll just post pictures! ;)

Tracy said...

Hi Eileen: Thanks for the tips. I don't think I fertilized last year either, but I can't remember for sure. (I miss my memory so much)

Hi Cher: I agree, they aren't all they're cracked up to be in my eyes either. It's probably me and my gardening ignorance but still :)

Hi Karen: Thanks! I wish mine looked like this every year! I think this year is just a fluke.

Hi HolleyGarden: That makes complete sense. I normally cut the dead wood after it leafs out & I can see where nothing is going to grow. Not having to trim this year must be the reason.

Hi Diane! They were both blue when I bought them but this year one of them turned pink. I hope yours bloom for you this year - looking forward to your post :)

Cathy and Steve said...

Hi Tracy. the heavy snow cover is definitely the answer. We experienced the exact same thing. Last year, a handful of blooms, and this year, the shrub is covered.

Hydrangeas bloom on new and old wood, but when they die completely back to the ground, essentially what you get is all very young new wood. Now, for some hydrangeas, like PeeGee that are very cold tolerant, their woody stems weather the winters up here just fine. But this one is particularly fussy in that way and that is why you're seeing this inconsistency.

What I would do is give it some winter protection. But be aware that what you mulch it with may affect bloom color. WHen we mulch with salt march hay or compost, our blooms are beautiful blue. When we mulch with leaf mould that is heavily oak, the tannins and acidity make the blooms a pretty shade of lavender. I'll be posting pix on my blog... just so you don't get an unpleasant surprise!