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hydrangea questions

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by Stormysgrandma on July 09, 2005 09:26 PM
I have 2 huge hydrangeas - bloom from new and old wood - cut them back every other year.

1. When is the best time to divide them? I have neighbors begging for some and mine are taking over too much space.

2. Mine have tons of white blossoms. Has anyone successfully changed the color of the blossoms? I've heard that you can change them to blue or pink by adding something to the soil.

I thought it would be fun to confuse the neighbors by changing the color every couple of years. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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by mike57 on July 09, 2005 09:45 PM
HI Stormy i use fire place ash to change the color on some of can also use food color in the water when you water the white ones with to give them some color but its just tempary.the best time to devide them is in late fall or early spring.hope this helps.your friend in gardening.mike57

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No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.
by Shiollie on July 09, 2005 10:41 PM
If your soil is acidic then the blooms will turn Blue, and if your soil is Alkaline then your blooms will be pink. It seems that your soil is neutral. You can feed them some Rhododendron food that will raise the acid level, or .. I like to collect pine needles and use them as mulch and that will also raise the acidic level naturally. My soil cannot seem to make up its mind because I can have blooms that are half pink and half blue!
Now I have a question for you... When you cut your plants back does it help with the blooming? Mine seem to only flower every other year and it seems that the flowering always happens on new wood. I wish I knew what type of Hydrangeas that these are but they came with the house.
by Stormysgrandma on July 10, 2005 10:21 AM
Wow! I would love to have flowers that were half pink and half blue! I'll try the pine needles this fall. I have access to an unlimited supply - one of our public parks. I also have a wood burning fireplace. We usually put the ashes in my veggie garden, but maybe after trying the pine needles for a couple of years I will try the ashes. Can you imagine what the neighbors would think if the plant produced a different color every couple of years?!! Ha!Ha! They think I'm a nut anyway, because I'm always puttering around in my gardens.

I'm not sure why your's doesn't bloom every year. Do you cut the blossoms off? I leave them until the plant wakes up in the spring. My hydrangea blooms every year whether I cut them back or not, I cut them in the very late fall every other year because it gives me a chance to clear out leaves and dead wood. That's also when I will put those pine needles down that you suggested.

The only reason I want to divide out some of the plant is because it's starting to spread down a hill near a sidewalk. I'm concerned about damage to the hill from erosion. The grass won't grow under the leaves because it doesn't get any light. This thing takes up a five-foot square area!

Thanks for the info!! Maybe someone else has some other ideas why yours only blooms every other year. [dunno]

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by Susan Slupski on July 11, 2005 01:25 AM
I have "Endless Summer" Hydrangeas - Pink ones.
Two years ago (in late fall) they were planted and last year I had beautiful flowers.
I cut the flowers off in late fall, but this year there is only one flower on one bush (I have five plants)
Endless Summer is suppose to flower on old and new wood.
Any ideas? [dunno]
by njoynit on July 12, 2005 09:22 PM
My endless summer has not bloomed yet.but we have been very dry this year,but had a wet winter.My other hygrandgeas.have done fine.they are from cuttings off someone elses plants,their soil made theirs blue,where mine have bloomed a pretty liliac color(i'll let these grow 3 years before cutting)I have a snowball hygrandea it has took it 3 years to bloom from the move(dug in /feb/planted in march)It blooms on old wood& have gotton a darker blue than at old place. I also have some oak leaf hygrandea.I LOVE this I get fall color& liveing in the south I don't get much in the way of fall color(possibly in fall is they fall off and head to the compost pile...)and these can take some sun...if keept watered.
I grew a snowball bush when liveing in Indpls&I cut it back in late summer to 2-2 1/2 ft& didn't fertilize it.It would have some new growth on it before a freeze hit it&I'd snip off dead wood when it greened up in spring.

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!
by atreus on July 12, 2005 10:39 PM
Typical with hydrangeas:
Ph 4.5 gives you blue flowers, as Ph approaches neutral you will get pink.

The problem is that some hydy's are bred to give a particular colour. If you have white flowers then you may not be able to alter the colour to any satisfying degree.

You could try coffee grounds, I hear they are a nicely organic way to shift the bloom colour.

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by atreus on July 12, 2005 10:41 PM
By the way, your sig is totally cool [Smile]
"I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!"

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