Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top 5 lists

I'm a big fan of top 5 lists; music, food, plants, cities. So today I give you my top 5 gardening questions asked by clients/friends/family/those trying to get free advice out of me. I'll cover one a day for the next 5 days in the interest of keeping the posts down to a manageable size.

5. Why don't my Hydrangeas bloom?
4. How can I keep crabgrass out of my turf?
3. Do those upside down tomato planters actually work?
2. Why do the deer eat everything in my yard but don't touch a thing in my neighbor's yard?
1. How and when am I supposed to prune my Hydrangeas?

So... #5, I just got asked this question again this past weekend. The answer is most likely quite simple. Unless you have an Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) it's not getting enough sun. Any other type of Hydrangea minimally needs part sun conditions, which means at least 4 hours of direct sun daily. Some even prefer full sun (6-8 hours). They'll survive in the shade, putting out plenty of nice big green leaves, but that's about all. It's possible that they need nutrients as well, but this would be a secondary cause of not flowering. It's best to just give them a light feeding of Garden tone or Plant tone in the spring (NOT NOW!) when the plants are actively growing. So if your hydrangea is in the shade, get out the shovels and put it someplace new. Now is the perfect time to transplant.

Of course there is the possibility that you pruned them incorrectly??? Well, we'll get to that in the next few days.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'

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