ButterflyLady29
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Location: central Ohio

Grocery store hydrangeas

Macropylla, according to all I found on the web not reliably hardy in my area. My hubby bought me one last year which spent the long frigid for Ohio winter in the partially heated basement. It spent the warm weather outdoors in a pot, seemed happy and grew and looked beautiful despite the chipmunk that insisted on digging in many of the pots. It was outside for some cooler nights including a couple frosts. The local rabbit found it and bit one branch off and another looks dead. Leaves turned all brown and sick looking which I believe was because of the cold. It has since been brought inside for the winter. I'm wondering if it should be set back out in a more protected area to get some more chill time in hopes of forming buds for next spring.

And hubby bought me another one a month ago. The flower is now mostly faded and it needs to be repotted. I guess I'll get around to it sooner or later.

They are very pretty but I'm not sure I'll be able to coax them into flowering again. Has anyone else every kept them in pots and got them to flower again?

luis_pr
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Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Grocery store hydrangeas

Macrophyllas have already developed their invisible flower buds around the ends of the stems by now. In my area, this takes place in July but up north where you are, maybe August. If the leaves have dried out, you can bring it into the garage, a shed or any other place that works for you. As usual, mine are still incredibly dark green still. :shock: It seems like it takes them forever to shut down over here.

In the north of the country, I have read that El Nino will be making some places warmer than average this winter. As a result, I have already heard from people whose hydrangeas went dormant and now suddenly broke dormancy and appear to be leafing out. To prevent this or to reduce the chances that the plant will fully awaken, consider bringing them inside and leaving it inside (as opposed to bringing it in and out). Had your shrub been planted outside, I would then suggest winter protection using chicken wire and leaves or mulch.

You should be able to get bloomage from hydrangeas in pots but some things to be aware are: too much fertilizer (nitrogen, specifically) can foul things up and produce nice lush dark green leaves only; soil that is not evenly moist (rather it is dry-wet-dry-etc) can kill the flower buds; left outside in cold weather could also kill either the stems and-or flower buds; pruning after the invisible flower buds developed may result in no bloomage or very little.

luis_pr
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Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Grocery store hydrangeas

PS - I remembered something else...

the grocery store hydrangeas will not normally re-bloom like the Endless Summer or the Forever & Ever Series of hydrangeas do so, you cannot make them re-bloom again this season if this is what you would like to do. The invisible flower buds will generally only open/flower in Spring.

That said, I have an unknown once flowering hydrangea that came with the house and it has produced 1-2 flowers again in the Fall about once every 5 years. It appears to be a weather-caused event unique to those years. Quite a surprise both times! The flowers did not last too long though; winter showed its ugly head and zapped them. And I did not get blooms from the stems in Spring. So the "early Fall" blooms came at the expense of Spring blooms. That happens with once flowering azaleas and rhodies too.

ButterflyLady29
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Location: central Ohio

Re: Grocery store hydrangeas

It did go dormant with a couple frosts and a hard freeze then we had second summer (late October, temps in the 70's and 80's, highly unusual for Ohio) and the plant was still outside. I brought it in a couple days ago and the warm temps had brought it out of dormancy already. I try not to move stuff too much, so there was no inside, outside ritual. I wanted it to go dormant so I could put it in an unheated building with my Mission Fig. This plant is from last summer, it spent the winter in the basement then was moved out when it got warm in spring and has been in the front yard since.

I wanted to plant it outside originally but last winter was particularly brutal and I heard from several people who lost old established hydrangeas, some more than 20 years old, and decided mine could stay in a pot a few more years at least.

Yes, light on the nitrogen.

The other plant was purchased only a month or so ago. I don't expect any flowers from it for another couple years or so. It needs to be put in a much larger pot with better soil before it can do much of anything.

And no, I didn't expect it to keep blooming. Hydrangeas are a one time a year show. Like peonies and lilacs, spectacular for a short time. I can live with that. I just want to keep it alive and hopefully get those beautiful spring blooms.

Thanks for the info. Even if the older one doesn't bloom next spring I'll keep trying. And I'll make sure it gets more even water.

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