LIcenter
Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:23 pm
Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7a/6b-ish

Three new species I'll be planting this spring.

Luis, I just have to say, your knowledge on hydrangea's is quite impressive.
With that, I'll be planting this spring a few species that I have never dealt with before, and would love your input (or anyone else's) on what I should expect related to the ease or difficulty factors. Any help with unforeseen pitfalls would be greatly appreciated.

1) Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle® Spirit
2) Bluebird Lacecap Hydrangea Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'
3) Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Wave’

luis_pr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Three new species I'll be planting this spring.

Thanks, LIcenter. You certainly have some nice new hydrangeas. I remember going to a local plant nursery that had Annabelle, Invincible Spirit and Bella Anna all for sale and all beside each other so you could compare them. I visited the place about once a month or more to see how the blooms looked like. Eventually, I bought Annabelle because I did not like the shade of pink that the others had. I cannot explain it; other than just say it just did not say ‘buy me’ so I ended buying Annabelle. Enjoyed that purchase for just a few months as I managed to kill it during winter due to a problem with the drip irrigation that was not delivering water in that area. Sigh. I now have a Little Lime in that same spot. Have you checked the new Invincibelle Spirit II?

I have always wanted to try one of those serrata lacecaps whose sepals turn upside down late in the blooming season but, no dice so far. I do not have much shaded and protected space so I have to carefully evaluate where I can place part shade shrubs. In addition to the blooms, you should also get to enjoy their leaves when they change colors to copper-ish/burgundy-ish/red-ish colors (my oakleaf hydrangeas put a similar show down here). Serratas also leaf out late so they should avoid damage from late spring frosts in your area. Someone once mentioned seeing BB in full sun by the Jersey shore. Not bad but BB will probably have longer lasting bloomage in afternoon shade than in full sun. The sepals may get a crispy look in full sun too. Water absorbing crystals may be useful in full sun conditions too or with plants whose potting soil has a lot of peat moss. My soil is alkaline so I would not get to enjoy the look of a blue Blue Bird but a pink-purple-ish color one might be nice! Remember that it develops those invisible flower buds between July-August (closer to Aug for you; in July for me) so be careful pruning should you need to prune. All stems should leaf out by the end of May so any stems still dried out looking by the end of May can be pruned all the way down. Apply similar comments to Blue Wave. Note: BB should bloom at the same time as or just before Blue Wave.

Remember that all these plants will depend on you for water and fertilizer in Years 1-3 so plan on having to hand water during the worst time of the summer months. Once they develop long root systems, they will be capable of fending off by themselves better.

LIcenter
Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:23 pm
Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7a/6b-ish

Re: Three new species I'll be planting this spring.

Thanks for the info Luis. One of the deciding factors to buy more hydrangeas is the fact that I really don't have a lot of full sunny areas to work with. Large oak trees abound in my area, which does keep the soil more on the acidic side. So it looks as if my job mainly will be to keep them well fed, and watered. I am now trying to stay more organic in my chemical selections, and wondered if you or anyone else here has used Miliorganite as a food source. If so what are your thoughts on this product?

luis_pr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Three new species I'll be planting this spring.

I have heard of some people who have used milorganite but I haven't (nothing wrong with that). Hydrangeas love composted manure so, since I typically buy composted manure, I give them that. Organic compost and cottonseed meal also work well so I give them whatever I have plenty of each year (this year will be a cottonseed meal year). About 1/2 to one cup in Spring (per plant) will be enough for newly planted shrubs in Spring. After that, you can use "weaker" fertilizers like coffee grounds, liquid seaweed and-or liquid fish. But stop all fertilizers by the end of June so the plants will not get too much nitrogen and stay in growth mode as winter approaches. Do keep them well mulched year around with 3-4" up to the drip line.

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