Some hydrangeas are pruned in the fall, some in the early spring, and some not at all.
How do I know which variety my hydrangea is and when it should or should not be pruned? Proven-Winners has the simple answer.
Of the 49 hydrangea species, four are native to America and only six types are typically grown in our gardens. Those that produce flower buds on old wood are large leaves (mophead and lacecap), oak leaves, creepers and mountains. New wood bloomers include panicle (PG or peegee) and smooth (Annabelle series).
By not pruning old wood that produces buds formed earlier this year, they are more likely to be protected over the winter.
Late frosts do not harm new wooden bloomers as their buds are set after a risk of spring frost. If the buds are frozen, more will be produced.
This year’s New Confirmed Winners (PW) include Old Bigleaf Wood (aka Florist, Broom Head or Lace Up Hat), Let’s Dance Can Do, and Let’s Dance Do It. Both breathtaking.
New wood introductions include Firelight Tidbit, a dwarf bush with large flower heads, and Quick Fire Fab (true to its name Fab).
Both are panicle or peegee so named for its panicles (flower cluster) of large flower heads or grandiflora.
There is a hydrangea for every situation from 1-2 ‘to 4-6’, colors from white to magenta and almost any color in between, easy to grow, seemingly bloom forever and some repeat. They do best in moist, well-drained soil with more sunlight than typically given. Peegees are known for their sun tolerance.
They have shallow roots and dry quickly. Mulch helps retain water.
You know hydrangeas love water, but did you know that “hydra” refers to seed capsules that look like ancient Greek water-carrying vessels according to PW.
THINGS TO DO
Goldenrod is in full bloom. Our state flower is not the cause of an allergic reaction because its pollen is heavy and falls to the ground. The pollen of ragweed, its companion is light and blows in the wind.
Let the fall asters stay over the winter and cut them back in early spring.
Garden – Cut some Shasta daisies to enjoy inside. At three years old, Shasta will begin to become leggy and will need to be removed.
Each year, replace the older ones and plant with new ones to have continuous dense flowering and healthy plants. Leave the rose hips and dead roses on the bush. The hips feed the birds while the dead roses indicate that the bush has stopped blooming. Add a tablespoon of bleach and sugar to half a quart of water to keep cut roses fresh.
Lawn – The sweep time has arrived. For less back stress from raking, pull the rake towards you as you move away from the leaves. Form rows of leaves, mow with a mulch blade, and repeat in the opposite direction to break the leaves enough over the winter to add nutrients and improve soil quality.
Trees and shrubs – Plant trees and shrubs. Viburnums create a great screen to block out poor eyesight and are not picky about the ground or the environment. Collect nuts and buckeye seeds daily. Bending or crouching to pick up is a good exercise and avoids tripping over the film (heavy coating of seeds) and reduces projectiles thrown by the lawn mower. Recycle vines that have been removed from trees, lawns and flower beds to make wreaths and baskets. Order a live or cut Christmas tree from a reputable nursery.
Vegetable – Pick wild persimmon species or fruits once they have colored but are still hard and ripen inside. It will ripen after picking. Choose hybrid varieties when they have matured on the tree. Recycle used vegetables by removing them and adding them to the compost. Never compost plants infested with diseases and insects.
Today Ice House Annual Squash Festival, 120 N. 8th St., Mayfield, squash, art, family activities, music, food and more. – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rescheduled for today due to rain.
Contact Carolyn Roof, the Sun’s gardening columnist, at [email protected]