Hydrangea Trees and The End of Summer

hydrangea treeI’ve been enjoying the big hydrangea trees that I see blooming in my neighborhood. How lovely it would be to have a big tree with these lovely blooms! For one thing, hydrangea flowers last a long time, so the tree would look beautiful all summer and into fall.

None of my hydrangea shrubs are very large yet, and this year the blue one did not bloom well. I have only one blue flower, which is disappointing. But the only hydrangea in my yard that will become a small tree is the Pinky Winky.

Certain hydrangeas can be trimmed to become trees. The Limelight can be purchased as a tree, so obviously you could trim it to become one.

My Limelight bushes had long stems and I was experimenting with ways to get them to grow more compactly, but then I moved away.   I planted a Limelight hydrangea on each side of my front steps, and they really needed to be in a place with more space to grow.  Their long lanky stems may have been caused from lack of sun, although they did get sun, but not all day.

flowering limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea – August 20th, 2014

One of my favorite hydrangeas is the Pee Gee (Paniculata grandiflora – PG). I bought one but it died (photo below), due to my poor choice of planting location. I never had a chance to get another one while I lived in New Hampshire and now in Florida, they won’t survive.

The Pee Gee has beautiful white flowers and can be trained into a tree by choosing one main stem, or possibly two, and removing the others. This is the basic way to train a shrub into a tree. Spring is the best time to do this, as the shrub will be ready to take off and grow. Pee Gee’s bloom on new wood, so all new growth in Spring has the potential to produce flowers. For that reason, never trim late in the season when flower heads could be removed.

The website The Spruce has more information about the Pee Gee and how to care for it and turn it into a tree.

white flowers pee gee
Beautiful White Flowers of the Pee Gee Hydrangea

My Hydrangeas in May 2014

bare branches hydrangea
The Pinky Winky in May

It’s May and I have been getting outdoors to check on my hydrangeas and do some yard clean up. This photo of my Pinky Winky hydrangea plant was taken about a week ago, but it still looks about the same. Some leaf buds are forming along the stems, but that’s about it. The Limelight plants look about the same.

I decided to prune them in late Fall last year instead of waiting until Spring. The reason was mainly that when I left the dried flowers on the long stems of the limelight variety, the snow would weigh them down. So I pruned them for the winter and hopefully they will still bloom nicely.

My endless summer plants have larger leaves protruding up from the base of the plant and the Blushing Bride has little baby plants that are rooted. I plant to dig them up and transplant them once I have a spot for them and the weather has warmed.

All but the Pee Gee are still growing and looking good. I can’t say as much for some of my other perennials.   The rhododendrons that I was hoping would get big and beautify the yard are practically dead.  Apparently deer consider them a delicious meal and they chew off every leaf during winter. Even with netting over them, they have been devoured.  If the plants survive the summer I will try covering them with burlap next winter.  Don’t want to think about winter yet though!

Hydrangeas at The End of Summer

pinky winky hydrangea
End of Summer Pinky Winky

It’s hard to believe that it is the end of summer now. I recently took some photos of the flowers remaining in bloom in the yard, and the Pinky Winky is one of the hydrangeas that still looks good.

Although the many deer that frequent my yard come to eat hydrangea buds and leaves, my Pinky Winky shrub still has flowers. They started white then began to show some light pink, and ended up dark pink with some white at the top. Some of the flowers are totally pink.

I think I will try to shape my hydrangeas better before they start blooming next year. This one could end up being a tall tree with the flowers standing upright out of the reach of deer maybe. Pruning will be an experiment, and hopefully I won’t mess up the plant so it won’t bloom. This year I let all my hydrangeas grow “wild” in any way they chose. It’s only their second year in my yard, so I didn’t want to mess with them too much. The Limelight plants are really long and droopy, but have loads of very pretty flowers. Those would do better if they were trimmed for next spring.

The Pinky Winky is Planted!

pinky winky shrub
Finally – the Pinky Winky is in the ground!

Finally — I got my newly acquired Pinky Winky hydrangea shrub into the ground! The other four hydrangeas were planted a couple of weeks ago and then we had a week of rain. I couldn’t decide where to put the last one – the Pinky Winky – and then I decided it should go out front so it can be seen by passersby. So I began to dig near the edge of the house and I was stopped by a white pipe in the ground. It must be part of the septic system I suppose.

So I filled in the hole and had to find another spot. I decided on the area next to the garage. The Pinky Winky tag tells me that it will be quite large and eventually reach 8 to 10 feet wide and high. It also needs some sun. I also noticed that little buds are forming – which is exciting! I thought I might have to wait until next year to see some blooms, which will be pink and white and elongated.

All hydrangeas – the Limelight, Blushing Bride, Blue, and Pee Gee are doing well.