Now my little hydrangea is in the ground and here is what I’ve learned. Deadheading Florida hydrangeas is a good idea. I found new growth and new flowers hidden beneath those huge, dying blooms.
Until a few weeks ago I had not tried to grow a hydrangea in my Florida yard. I kept thinking there was no way it would do well in all this heat. So the fact that my little hydrangea plant is doing so well is a nice surprise. If it has been growing in a greenhouse it would adapt well to warmth, and it does seem to be thriving this summer.
Now that the hydrangeas have sprung back from the weight of the snow, I realize I have some trimming and pruning to do. I leave the dead flowers on the stalks over winter, but now they need to be removed. Some branches are broken, but I know that they will fill in quickly with new growth.
Some hydrangeas bloom on new growth so you don’t want to trim those in Spring, or you may be cutting off the blooms. Some bloom on old wood – the stems that were there last year. And some will bloom on both.
This is my “Endless Summer”, a small shrub that I planted last Spring and it bloomed profusely even though it never grew very large. This year I expect it will grow larger and lots of blue flowers. The dead flowers are still showing at the end of the stalks and I will be cutting them off.
If you live in a very cold climate as I do, one hydrangea that should flourish in your yard would be the Endless Summer (Hydrangea macrophylla) variety. It is loved for it’s profuse blue flowers, but acidic soil is needed for the blue color.
The tricky part is knowing whether the flowers will bloom as pink or blue. That will depend on the acidity of your soil. If your soil has a low ph level (5.2-5.5) your flowers will be blue, but any higher and you may get a pink and blue combination or all pink blooms. The soil where I live in New Hampshire is naturally acidic, so my Endless Summer hydrangeas bloom blue.
Not every type of hydrangea shrub will like the cold winters of New England, so be sure to do your research before buying and make sure you are investing in a plant that will not die over it’s first winter in a northern garden.
The Endless Summer shrub will bloom from new growth (as well as old) in the Spring, so while the shrub sits buried under 2 feet of snow for months you won’t have to worry if the stems break. It will come back. They thrive in planting zones 4-9 so they can take the heat too!