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RobinM
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Frozen Hydrangea

Hi Everyone. I'm hanging my head and feeling ashamed...I planted a Hydrangea over the weekend. We were having 80 degree temps all weekend so I didn't even think to look ahead. I just got excited and planted it. It took a bit of frost last night when the temps dropped down to 31 for a few hours. It was full of blooms when I planted it and they all turned brown by mid-day today. So, that's the background but not really the question.

The question is, first, the tag on the plant only says "hydrangea" and care level of "tolerant". I know better than to buy something without paying attention (but it was just so pretty) so I don't know what type it is. The tag had a code on it so I looked it up on the website of the garden center I bought it from and it says it's a houseplant! Really? Who grows Hydrangea in their house? Soooo, here I am, shamefully asking, what is the best type of hydrangea to plant in zone 8 that can take a good bit of sun? I will probably have to replace this poor baby.

(...and now I'm off to shamefully ask someone about the Iris I also planted too early :shock: )

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Robin
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tomc
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Hydrangea will survive a frost in NH, they aught to survive a frost in the Carolina's. I expect you have lost this years bloom and maybe the branch tips, but not much more than that.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

yeah, hydrangea and iris stay in the ground all winter here in Ohio, zone 6. Your hydrangea probably suffered more than it would have, because being labeled houseplant, it was likely greenhouse grown and not hardened to cold. But I agree with tom that it (and your iris) should be fine.

Iris is very difficult to kill. I had some that someone gave me. I just threw them on the ground while I was going to figure out where to plant them, then forgot about them. They promptly rooted themselves in and started growing.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

That is great to hear! I will leave them alone then and let nature takes its course. Thanks for the feedback. One last thing, with the Iris' leaves lying down on the ground, should I trim them back? They've only been in the ground for about a week so I guess I'm just wondering if cutting them back will let them focus on rooting, or would cutting them back disable them? Besides, they look a little unsightly just lying there stretched out across the flower bed like that. I can take a quick picture if that will help.

Thanks again.
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applestar
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Irises and many other perennials that flop over need support -- something to lean on.

Get some decorative wire perennial plant supports, or you can use election campaign sign frames, or bamboo or metal stakes tied or zip-tied into supports with two verticals and a horizontal.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

There are no blooms on the iris yet. It's the leaves that are flopping over. They are all lying on the ground. During the warmest part of the day, i've noticed they are attempting to lift themselves up but fall back down in the evening and early morning. You don't mean to stake up each leaf, correct? I assume you are referring to staking the flower blooms, which there are none as of yet.
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applestar
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

No the leaves need it too, though the flowers make them top heavy as well and if the leaves are leaning, you'll definitely need before they start to bloom.

You want supports like a short rail for them to lean on |=======|
You can buy very decorative curved iron railings for $$$ too or vinyl coated ones for less, but I tend to rash bamboo stakes into mini railings.

Pound the uprights in place, then gently but firmly, stand the leaves up (maybe with a helper) while positioning and securing the railing in place. Those iris leaves are surprisingly heavy and bruise easily.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Oh. Hmmm. I can't picture that. I guess I'll do a google search to see if I can find a picture....unless you have one you wouldn't mind posting?
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

I wonder if I can use those round or square, powder coated tomato cages? They are covered in green plastic like stuff so they don't rust and the green will help them blend in. What do you think?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

hmm .... everyone's garden is different, but I don't have any experience of iris needing staking, even the tallest, heaviest flower stalks:

Image
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JcIhNX_29Zc/T ... purple.JPG

this is just a picture off the internet. I'll try to get a pic of mine when they bloom.

I'm thinking yours just have transplant shock and /or weren't hardened off to the cold and got a bit frost nipped. I wouldn't do anything to them except basic care (watering if no rain, etc) and give them a chance to recover.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

I like your idea better. I really don't want to have to stake them up. Here is what they look like right now. I just went outside and took this pic. BUT, they looked like this from day 1, before the cold snap.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

maybe transplant shock. This is really the wrong time of year to be planting/ transplanting iris. Usually the corms with just a small fan of leaves are planted in the fall. Especially if it is warm already, you will have to take good care of them for awhile. But one question, how deep did you plant them? The corms are not supposed to be buried, they will rot out that way. You plant it with the top half of the corm above ground and just the bottom surface that the roots come out of under ground. It is why my iris were able to root themselves in when just tossed on the ground. They like the corm to be above ground.

If you buried them, since they haven't been there long anyway, I would dig them up and replant correctly.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Gosh, I really know nothing about Irisses. I bought them from Lowes garden center and they came in a pot, about half gallon. I just took them out of the pot, which was full of potting mixture, and sat the whole thing down in the ground with the top of the dirt from the pot level with the ground. I don't see anything at the top that looks like a bulb, a corm, a rhizome...nothing. Just dirt. Maybe I should dig them up and remove some of the dirt from the top and replant them a little higher?
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luis_pr
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Hello, Robin. Regarding the original question, paniculatas and oakleaf hydrangeas tolerate the most sun, then arborescens and then macrophyllas (think: mopheads like the one you purchased). But in your and my neck of the woods, the sun is just too strong during the summer months.

During the summer, the leaves of a-n-y of those hydrangeas will scorch if subjected to too much afternoon sun in Zone 8 (maybe 7 too). In the northern half of the country though, the summer sun is not as intense and they can plant in full sun.

So, look for a place where the shrub can get morning sun and afternoon shade during the worst of the summer months. Right now, they can take full sun almost everywhere so worry only about the summer months.

You can also plant it in a place that is always shaded, provided it gets bright indirect light. An example would be planting the hydrangea under the canopy of a tree. Note: dense shade can result in less blooms and scraggly growth.

Maintain 3-4" of organic mulch to protect the roots during winter and to minimize waterings in dry or windy times. A gallon of water per watering should be fine for a newly planted hydrangea. Check the soil to determine when to water again; water when a finger inserted to a depth of 4" feels dry (or almost dry).

Note: fell free to transplant it again if you notice later on that the location is not good.

Luis

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Actually you are right in that I should have said rhizome, not corm, rhizome being a flat horizontal fleshy root.

So here's what an iris looks like:

Image
https://www.planandplant.com/images/irisrhizome.jpg

To start with you could try just brushing dirt off the area where the rhizome should be at the base of the plant. If Lowe's did their job, you should be able to uncover the top surface of the rhizome pretty easily. If you can't, then yes, I would dig it up and replant, unbury-ing the rhizome top surface, but leaving all those hanging roots under ground.
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Rainbowgardener: Thanks so much for all the great advise. I will see if I can rub the dirt off first. Really appreciate the help!

Luis: I was thinking of planting an umbrella next to the hydrangea since I planted it in full sun and don't want to move it :wink: I'm KIDDING! Thanks for the great information. I really am thinking of planting a tree on the west side of it to give it some relief from the afternoon sun. I wanted to plant a tree in that general area anyway. If that doesn't shade it enough, I will move it somewhere else more appropriate. Thanks again!
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RobinM
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

Rainbowgardener: Just an update, I went out and moved the dirt from the top of the Iris, and lo and behold, I found the rhizomes on each of them. They were buried about 1" below the dirt. I have them all wiped off now so we'll see what happens. Thanks again!
He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to grow up through the clod, he trusts in God

NatureHillsNursery
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Re: Frozen Hydrangea

The hydrangea should be fine. I have some in Michigan, and I don't do anything to protect them through the winter and they still come up year-after-year. As to iris-they are incredibly hardy. I once found some that had been covered with grass and mowed repeatedly. I dug them out (actually pulling some out by the green stems), and they flourished in my garden. I’ve never needed to stake them either. Even if they get rather tall and lanky, it won’t hurt them to flop over a bit.

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