Pink Hydrangeas Are Blooming in June

The hydrangea shrub in my Florida yard is doing well and blooming with pink flowers.

The hydrangea I planted in my Florida garden a few years ago is now blooming once again. Soil in Florida tends to be alkaline so the flowers are pink. When I first bought the plant the flowers were blue, no doubt due to amendments to the soil. Everyone wants blue flowering hydrangeas.

But when this hydrangea plant was left to grow in the sandy soil in my southern yard, the flowers became pink. I don’t care. Pink is pretty too.

The key to success when growing hydrangeas in the hot and humid Florida climate is to give the plant shade. All the leaves fall off for winter but the greenery comes back along the stems in Spring. Don’t cut the plant back! The first year I did cut it, but it’s not necessary.

2017 Potted and blue

Here is the hydrangea plant when I first bought it. It was probably grown in a greenhouse and given something acidic for the flowers to bloom blue.

Blue hydrangea
2017

The blue flowers faded to green, just like my New Hampshire blue flowers!

hydrangea
My blue hydrangea flowers have faded to green

Each year the leaves fall off

For the winter months in Florida, the plant is nothing but stems. Once the weather gets permanently warm again – around February – the stems will begin to show green growth.

hydrangea February garden Florida stems
February – hydrangea is stems only!

2022 June – Pink flowers

The flowers will only be blue if the soil is acidic. In Florida, azaleas, camellias, gardenias, and crepe myrtle all like acidic soil. So planting hydrangeas near these plants means they can all be amended with bone meal, or something to naturally turn the soil acidic. Read about more ways to turn soil acidic.

It seems that each year this plant has more, and larger, flowers. I try to give it plenty of water and it is never in direct sunlight thanks to the fact that a large shrub covers it.

Growing hydrangeas in Florida
June 2022

July and the Blooms Are Fading

I was sick with Covid for nearly a month and only recently have been back out in my Florida yard. Now my pink hydrangea flowers are a very light greenish color. One little pink bloom hangs on.

faded hydrangea flowers in Florida
Hydrangeas drying on the stem

Please Keep Reading the Blog

Growing Dill and Fennel in a Florida Garden

Growing dill and fennel in a Florida yard.

I’ve combined these two herbs in this post because one of them I can’t seem to grow. Because dill doesn’t like my yard, I’ve grown fennel in it’s place.

The two herbs are not interchangeable for cooking and seasoning, as they are both different, but as far as gardening goes, they are similar. They are both airy and lacy and have big yellow, open flowers that attract beneficials.

Dill

I first grew dill in my New Hampshire yard. I absolutely loved the flowers that came at the end of the season, which attracted good bugs. Here in Florida I have tried numerous times to grow it without success. This potted dill you see here was grown from seeds.

Aside from the fact that the raccoons dug around in the pot one night, it looks pretty good.

Dill plant

Fennel

Fennel on the other hand grows all on it’s own. It is considered a perennial. It has successfully re-seeded itself in my front yard and I’ve seen caterpillars on it in past years. And often the stalks will last into the following year. Here in Florida that happens with many vegetables.

Unfortunately the brown lizards ate all the worms, so I didn’t see any turn into Swallowtail butterflies.

Swallowtail worm on fennel
Parsley worm which will become a black swallowtail butterfly

Saving Seeds

Both dill and fennel have seeds that form on the flowers and are very easy to save. Because I don’t have luck with dill, I have photos of fennel seeds only.

fennel plant with seeds
Fennel flowers turning to seeds

Fennel easily grows from seeds. I have some plants that have sprung up along the front of the house. This year I saw no caterpillars on them, but I like to have them just in case a butterfly comes by to lay her eggs.

fennel plants

Florida Native Frogs or Cuban Invaders?

Summer brings an over-abundance of frogs to my yard. I often find them tucked down inside curling pepper leaves or snoozing on top of a growing pepper. They don’t hurt the plants, but the invasive Cuban tree frog can hurt the environment, by killing off our native frogs.

Cuban Tree Frogs?

I think these are Cuban tree frogs. I have seen frogs like this inside my house. One day I had one sitting on a plate in my kitchen. When we first moved into our house a huge, whitish frog came out of the tub drain! I’d never let frogs creep me out before, but there was something about these that I never liked.

frogs sleeping the day away
3 Frogs on my front light – one is sitting on another

They are nocturnal and come alive in the evening when they hop all over the windows and door eating bugs.

They also leave their poop everywhere as you can see by my disgusting looking light. I think this photo shows the Cuban frog. This type of frog will kill and eat the cute green ones – which I never see these days. And the Cuban frog can become quite large. They can also get into the plumbing – they do that by getting onto the roof – and other places and become a big problem.

It is true that these frogs do not appear to be the cute little green frogs that were once everywhere in Florida. You literally could not avoid them and they were simply part of Florida life. Florida life has changed.

Tree frog sleeping on a green pepper
Tree frog napping on my garden pepper – he is what type???

After I had a palm tree cut down in my front yard, the frog population seemed to decline. They may have been living in the tree.

frog on pepper leaf
Frog on pepper leaf

Good Frogs

This striped frog is one I came across while cleaning out the yard. I’d had some plastic containers stacked, which had filled with water. I was getting rid of the containers and discovered this frog swimming around with a bunch of tiny creatures – possibly tadpoles..? Once I disturbed his home, he climbed out of the container and disappeared.

I think this frog may be the Florida Chorus frog, but I’m not sure. I hope he makes it. Life is tough for Florida wildlife.

Florida Tree Frogs or Cuban Pests?

Just like the little green lizards, the green Florida tree frog seems to be disappearing. Well, the Cuban tree frog could be the reason. This article at the UF site says to catch the invaders and humanely euthanize them! Put them into the fridge, then the freezer! Yikes.

I would have to know for sure I had the right type of frog. Some of the links below lead to pages with photos of Florida’s various types of frogs.

That is not a bird peeking out of my birdhouse. In fact, frogs can take over birdhouses so the birds can’t use them to nest.

Frog inside this birdhouse

One more thing to mention. We have a Ring camera set up in the backyard and witnessed an opossum climb the wall to the light and pull a frog off to eat it! I can’t say which type of frog it was, but I rarely ever see the cute green frogs. I would assume that the opossum ate a Cuban tree frog. Let’s hope so.

More Florida Frog Info Links

All links go to the University of Florida website pages.

Back to Life, My Florida Hydrangea Looks Good

Over winter here in Florida my hydrangea shrub became a bunch of sticks. The stems lost nearly all their leaves.

Hydrangea winter Florida January
January

After all danger of frost – around the end of February – I cut the stems back removing the old leaves. There were new leaf bud growths already forming along the stems.

hydrangea February garden Florida stems
February, after cutting back

Attempting to Propagate a New Plant

In the photos above and below I have placed a rock over a low hanging stem. I’m hoping that roots will form so I can cut this part off and plant it creating a new hydrangea plant!

Florida hydrangea garden perennial Spring
Rooting a stem

This hydrangea is growing in a nice shady location beneath a larger shrub. It seems to be happy and now I’ll just wait for the flowers.

All I’ve used for fertilizer is some bone meal and fish emulsion.

  • Florida hydrangea garden perennial Spring
  • Florida hydrangea garden perennial Spring
  • Florida hydrangea garden perennial Spring
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