Display Blog Posts By Category
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Shrubs

​​​Without doubt, macrophylla hydrangeas are very high on any list of most popular summer & fall shrubs in the Pacific Northwest.  Here we offer conditions ideal to keep them in beauty: abundant rainfall in the growing season, acid  soil to keep them the most exquisite blue, with variations possible through treatment, up to and including deepest pink and even variations of colour on the same shrub. Our long falls allow us to enjoy the variation of colour in the flowers as they age. Last, but not least, our mild winters allow us to give them the pruning they like best: having their dried flowers left on all winter, then each sturdy stem cut back to the nearest set of buds.


Not surprisingly, people gardening in colder climates covet hydrangeas for all their manifold beauties, but find it very difficult to provide the conditions they need, a particular difficulty being allowing the stems to stand all winter.  Aware of this demand, breeders have turned their minds to ways to address these difficulties and recent years have seen a number of new strains of macrophylla hydrangeas come onto the market, each addressing the problem in different ways.  While this has expanded opportunities for eastern gardeners it has also greatly enlarged the situations in which we here can grow this wonderful plant.

Perhaps the most exciting is the CityLine strain of hydrangeas.  Blooming, like all macrophyllas on OLD wood, they have been bred to stay very compact: 12-36" wide and tall (for us, undoubtedly closer to the high end).  For gardeners in colder climes, this means they are more easy to protect over the winter (where the plants will likely be smaller).  For us, they still offer a lot for today's smaller gardens and are especially well suited to containers.
 

Cityline Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Berlin' Lovely flowers with white centres Blue Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Mars' Flowers are white edged violet Violet Deep Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Paris' Reddest of the line, requires aluminum to turn blue Blue Vivid Red 1-2 ft x 2-3 ft Old Wood
'Rio' Early flowering     Strong Blue Purple 2-3 ft Old Wood
'Venice' Flowers green with age Blue Hot Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Vienna' Traditional macrophylla flowers Violet - Blue Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
Find out more about thie Cityline series on Proven WInner's Website.


Another wonderful line is the Seaside Serenade group, also bred to remain relatively compact.  Named for various sites on the east coast of New England, they are spectacular shrubs with bicolour flowers, and extra thick stems. Additionally, they have been bred to provide interesting fall colour.  They too bloom mostly on OLD wood, although some form new shoots on that wood in the season, which produce more flowers, though smaller.  In colder climates, this means that if the original wood is partly lost to winter, there will still be some flowers.  Here in the lower mainland, we get a first wonderful flush and then a continuation of fresh coloured flowers through the fall.
 

Seaside Serendae Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Cape Cod' Each floret has white centre Blue Pink 4 ft Old & New Wood
'Cape Lookout' Colour changer, huge blooms, great fall foliage Green→ White→ Pink Same 3.5 x 3 ft Old Wood
'Cape May' Only lacecap (serrata hybrid) of group Blue Pink 2-4 ft Old Wood
'Fire Island' Flowers are white edged with main colour Deep Blue Deep Pink 3.5 ft Old Wood
'Hamptons' Two-toned flowers of distinctive colour Intense Blue Intense Pink 3 x 3.5 ft Old Wood
Find out more about the Seaside Seranade series on Monrovia's Website.



Finally, there is the Endless Summer group, which name has unfortunately given rise to  a myth: that they flower entirely on new wood (like the smooth leaf or Annabelle varieties) and thus can be cut right back, like an Annabelle hydrangea. This is unfortunately not the case.  These hydrangeas (like Seaside Serenade) send out new shoots, which do bloom later in the season. But they form these shoots on OLD wood, the first and largest blooms still arise from the tops of wood formed the previous season. In colder climates, gardeners are advised to mulch them over the winter to preserve that old wood. It obviously takes a lot out of a plant to keep churning out new growth, so increased nourishment is likely to be required as well as intelligent pruning.  
 

Endless Summer Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
​​​​​​​Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Bloomstruck' Glossy leaves; does bloom on new shoots Violet - Blue Rose - Pink 3-4 x 4-5 ft Old & New Wood
'Blushing Bride' Soft colours White→ Soft Blue Same 3-6 ft Old & New Wood
'Endless Summer' First to introduce this tendency Blue Pink 3-4x 4-5 ft Old & New Wood
'Summer Crush' Intense colour Violet - Blue Raspberry 1.5-3 ft Old & New Wood
'Twist & Shout' Lacecap with vivid red, sturdy stems Periwinkle Blue Deep Pink 3-5 ft Old & New Wood

Find out more about the Endless Summer series on the Endless Summer Website.

With so many varieties to choose from, here in the Pacific Northwest we can find a hydrangea for any situation and any taste.  





Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a lovely and diverse genus, many of which have become essential parts of our garden vocabulary.
Hydrangea Group

Most of us are familiar with the "old fashioned hydrangea": hydrangea macrophylla, and mostly with it in its round headed (mob-cap) form. In England, this variety is called "mob-cap" after the rounded cap worn indoors by married women in the late 18th/early 19th century. Here in North America, they are more usually called mop heads. Having grown up in an English tradition, I found this very odd at first!!
Hydrangea Mophead

This shrub has a lot going for it: it flowers for a very long time starting in the summer when few shrubs but roses are in bloom. Unlike the rose it is equally happy in sun and in shade, though it requires more water in full sun. And, also unlike the rose, it needs no deadheading or summer pruning; the round flowers of macrophylla are lovely from the time they first appear, often in strange shades of ivory & green, slowly deepening to their ultimate colours of blue or pink, and then, as fall approaches, evolving into yet stranger colours of violet, burgundy, wine and tan. These flowers dry well, and, if you like, can be sprayed with gold for Christmas decoration!
Lacecap Hydrangea

As well as mobcaps, hydrangea macrophylla has a lacecap form. Like the dogwood, what appears to be a flower is actually a bract surrounding the true flower, which is comparatively insignificant. In the mobcap above, the bulk of the flower is made of infertile bracts. In the lacecap, the centre of the flower is made up of tiny fertile flowers with a surrounding circle of bracts, looking much like a lace doily, or old fashioned lace cap, hence the name. These plants are generally more open and graceful in appearance than the mobcaps, but have many of the same attributes.

Both kinds of hydrangeas serve a good purpose in garden design. They fit very well with rhododendrons, liking the same conditions of soil and sun, and adding garden colour at a time when rhododendrons are long over. The lacecap is particularly nice here, its grace contrasting with the bulkier shape of rhododendrons. They fit equally well with the long blooming summer & fall perennials, adding some restful substance to the border.

Pannicle Hydrangea

In addition to these two forms of H. macrophylla, hydrangea paniculata (Peegee) is a treasured garden plant. Instead of a dome, the flowers form a cone, initially white (or green) deepening to rosy red and ultimately burgundy in a way reminiscent of macrophylla, but more striking because of the size of the flower. The plant too is larger with quite a different garden effect, with strong wands growing upwards. Often grown as a standard (("tree form") it makes a terrific central feature in a frontal bed.

Macrophylla in both its forms and paniculata are those most often encountered in gardens; but there are many others: hydrangea arborescens Annabelle (a very hardy form, blooming on new wood), hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea - very handsome in woodland), hydrangea aspera (extraordinarily shade tolerant) and of course, the climbing hydrangea: hydrangea petiolaris). These are all excellent plants but more suited to a wilder sort of garden than macrophylla and paniculata.

Some well established favourites:
 

Macrophylla : first the mobcaps

Sister Theresa pure white, each flower with a pale blue eye
Nikko Blue very large turquoise, a bit floppy, but gorgeous in acid soil
Glowing Embers reliably red in any soil

Lovely Lacecaps

Blaumeise (Teller Blue) blue turning brilliant pink in basic (alkaline) soil
Kardinal (Teller Red) rich deep pink turning purple in acid soil
Libelle (Teller White) white with deep blue centre which centre turns pink in basic soil

Paniculatas

Paniculata Grandiflora (the original PeeGee) pure white flowers aging rosy pink
Limelight soft green aging to pink
Brussels Lace a rare form with flowers like a lacecap white with no colour change
Quickfire white flowers turning pinkish red
 

For more information about growing Hydrangeas, read the Learn to Grow Hydrangeas Blog Post
If you're interested in any of these beautiful Hydrangeas, drop by the nursery and check out our collection. As always the selection and availability is always changing so call ahead if you're making a special trip


Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a very easy care shrub, especially for us here on the west coast, but good cultivation will bring out their best.

First of all, like most shrubs, they should be planted in fertile (organically rich), well drained soil, but with the additional caution that you must be able to water them easily! Hydrangeas need hydrating!! This is particularly true in sunny sites and in the first while after planting. Never forget that it takes a while for roots to get out into the surrounding soil, so as far as the new plant is concerned, it is still in a pot, and so should be watered thoroughly AT LEAST once a week.

After the plant is established, it will still need watering in times of drought, and will be one of the first plants in your garden to droop by way of letting you know things are getting dry.

Hydrangea Group

Macrophylla hydrangeas (mobcap/mophead & lacecap) produce their blooms from buds formed the summer before (old wood). Therefore, pruning in autumn or too early in spring can inhibit, even prevent, flowers. When the last frosts are over, the old flower heads should be cut back to the first pair of healthy buds below them. Any dead, or spindly branches should be removed at the base, and where there are untidy crossover branches choose the healthiest of these and remove the other. It should be noted that some of the newer cultivars have been bred to bloom on both old & new wood: but the advice of pruning for strength still applies.

Paniculata, on the other hand, blooms on new wood formed in the growing season and is also hardier than macrophylla. It can therefore be pruned in late winter to early spring as needed. An extremely vigorous plant, the shrub form is going to produce much larger flowers if restricted to 7 to 11 vigorous primary shoots. If grown as a standard, the plant will need rigorous pruning to keep it in good shape, but the same general guide of fewer, stronger shoots applies.

For both types, a good mulch in the spring and fall will help keep weeds down and preserve soil moisture. Feeding once a year with a slow release all purpose fertilizer will promote vigorous growth which will in turn provide for more abundant flowers.
Change Hydrangea Flower Colour

How to Change The Colour of Your Hydrangea

 

Most blue or pink Hydrangea macrophylla varieties can change their flower colour based on soil acidity and the presence of aluminum in the soil. If the soil is acidic (a pH of less than 7), the plant is able to absorb aluminum from the soil and turn the flowers more blue. Common soil acidifiers include sulfur, peat moss and various fertilizer products like Rhodo and Azalea fertilizers. The colour transformation happens slowly of the course of 1-2 seasons. If you want your flowers to be more pink, sweeten your soil, that is - make it less acidic - more alkaline, with lime, bonemeal and other similar products. A pH higher than 7 reduces the plants ability to absorb aluminum and turns the flowers more pink. Again this change happens over several seasons.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Posted By: in Shrubs


Whichever path today’s gardener follows to this season’s trending garden sanctuary, you will find that including the camellia is spot on target.  The camellia can boast of exceptional colour, texture, form and versatility.  

Playing with the summer to winter transitional colour scheme is not only visually appealing, but can add significantly to our appreciation of changes in our natural environment.  Use Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Camelia japonica ‘Bob Hope’ or ‘Debutante’ to carry the vibrant colours of your summer garden into winter or allow the more muted tones of ‘Buttermint’ and ‘Silver Waves’ show off the textures and forms that define your winter garden.  Allow the richness of the blooms to contrast with the starkness of winter.

The relationships between varying textures of garden elements create an energy.  This goes beyond the visual.  We see and feel the smoothness of the camellia’s lush, evergreen foliage; we are excited by the contrasts of bold versus fine, rough, mossy, rusty…Combine this with the extraordinary variety of camellia forms in an airy woodland, a clipped and formal installation or a few pots on a patio oasis to achieve your design goal.

Winter camellias will grow in sun or shade.  They are large, relatively fast-growing and sturdy. Their evergreen foliage is a rich, dark, glossy green. Trained espaliered camellias may be used as sculptural specimens, screens or hedges.  Stronger pruned  geometric forms establish mood and direct the eye’s flow through the garden.  Taller columnar or conical forms act as focal points and accents.  Repeat rounded forms for continuity or count on a taller dome-shape to open up and facilitate transition.  Adapt this elegant shrub’s form to suit your purpose.

Yuletide Camellia
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Friday, May 20, 2016
Posted By: Suvan Breen in Shrubs

 

Oh the fabulous hydrangea! Of all the flowering shrubs this one has always been a show stopper but in 2016 this is not just your grandmas pink or blue hydrangea anymore.

Blue Hydrangea Flowers

I am not sure what I am more excited about, the ever blooming varieties that just go all summer or the new multi coloured flowers that change colour over their bloom time, Hydrangeas are blowing me away right now.

There are so many new varieties and colours that will make you stop in your tracks, come on into the nursery to see what we have for you.

As you may have guessed from their name, Hydrangeas love water, plant in a moist but well drained space, spring is a great time for planting, water the roots deep down to help them to establish in the garden. Once again I highly recommend soaker hoses if you do not have irrigation, this is a great way to reduce your water bill and still deep water your plants.

 

Having said that there are certain things to know about the Hydrangeas we love. Here are the top Hydrangea questions I have had over the years.

Hydrangea Types

Are There Different Types of Hydrangeas?

Yes, there are several types of Hydrangeas with flower colours ranging from white to shades of pink to blue. The classic variety is called Hydrangea macrophylla and can have either the big Mophead type flower or a flattened lacecap-like bloom. Lace cap varieties are great for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. The Mountain Hydrangea, or Hydrangea serrata typically has a white lacecap-like flower. Pannicle Hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata has large white to creamy white flowers in conical shapes. Hydrangea arborescens or Smooth Hydrangeas typically have large white blooms. Finally, the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia has attractive white flowers but also offers stunning fall foliage colour.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

What Is An Endless Summer Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. In recent years, plant breeders have introduced new varieties that bloom on both new and old wood. They are often called “ReBloomers”. The end result is a plant the produces more flowers and blooms for longer through the season. It also makes them less vulnerable to late winter, flower bud damaging frosts. Endless Summer was the first of the group but new ones like Twist and Shout, Let's Dance Moonlight and Blushing Bride are also available. More information is available on the Endless Summer Hydrangea Website

Should I Fertilize My Hydrangea?

In most cases, yes. For established plants, feed your plant a fertilizer with a high middle number in early spring just as new growth begins. This will create larger and bigger flowers. For new plants, apply a Bonemeal into the planting hole or use a liquid transplant fertilizer when you water.

Changing Hydrangea Flower Colour

How Do I Change The Colour of My Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas react to the availability of aluminum in your soil. If you want pink flowers, add lime to your soil once a year, the lime blocks the plant from absorbing aluminum. Looking for blue flowers? Add Aluminum Sulphate in water and water the soil around your Hydrangea. Be patient, this process will take 2-3 seasons to achieve the colour switch. White flowering types do not change colour.

Where Can I Plant My Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas want morning sun and afternoon shade, with the exception of Peegees which benefit from full sun. Late afternoon sun is too strong for many Hydrangeas and can burn both the leaves and flowers. Full shade may result in a lack of blooms, make sure your hydrangea gets at least 4 hours of morning light to grow strong. A location with part sun to part shade is ideal.

Pink Hydrangea Blooms

Why Is My Hydrangea Not Blooming?

Back away from the pruners! The most common reason for no blooms is over pruning or pruning at the wrong time of year. Some Hydrangeas bloom on new growth and some bloom on old growth, if your Hydrangea is not blooming, you may have pruned the flower buds. Hydrangeas really do not require a great deal of pruning but if you are pruning there are guidelines depending on the variety you choose. Deadhead your Hydrangea to encourage repeat blooming.

Another common cause of poor blooms is an early spring cold snap. As many varieties bloom on old wood, a late frost can damage the flower buds.

Your Hydrangea will also produce more and better blooms with a yearly application of fertilizer with a higher middle number

Hydrangea Cityline Rio

How Do I Prune My Hydrangea?

The correct method to prune Hydrangeas depends on which type you have.

ReBlooming Varieties

The Hydrangeas require very little pruning and will keep you in blooms all season long. You should only prune to remove dead wood.

Hydrangeas That Bloom On Old Wood

These shrubs should only be pruned to remove dead wood or to manage size. As they bloom on old wood, a severe pruning can remove next years flower buds. If you must prune, do so after flowering. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include:

  • Big Leaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Mountain Hydrangea - Hydrangea serrata
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangeas That Bloom On New Wood

For these varieties, prune in late winter or early spring. Varieties blooming on new wood include:

  • Pannicle Hydrangea- Hydrangea paniculata
  • Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arboresens

If you have any other questions about hydrangeas, please feel free to drop by Arts Nursery and ask! We'd be happy to help!


Sponsored Advertisement

Be Part Of Our Growing Community!

Subscribe, Like or Follow Us Online

  Learn More >>

Blog Profile

arts nursery logo
Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter


Blog Search

Recent Posts

Sunday, September 15, 2019
9 Rare and Unusual Tropical Ferns

This fall (2019) we've managed to source a variety of unique, unusual and hard to find tropical fern...

Thursday, September 12, 2019
September in the Pollinator Garden

The days are unmistakably shortening. We are heading breakneck towards the equinox (Sept. 23), and a...

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Now is the Time to be Alert for Fall Bulbs

In the fall, we are cheered by the arrival of bulbs that promise spring again soon. I have not the s...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Tree Queens of Summer

​​​Hungry for spring, we so often choose our trees: cherries, deciduous magnolias, dogwoods, stewart...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Vegetarian Garlic Broth

Roses love it, vampires fear it. I have a cushion that advises: anyone who doesn't love cats must ha...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Golden Beet Borscht

As the end of August approaches we strive to make the most of the warm days we have left in the gard...

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Macrophylla Hydrangeas: In with the New!

Without doubt, macrophylla hydrangeas are very high on any list of most popular summer & fall shrubs...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
20 New Fall Planting Bulbs for 2019

With the final days of summer slowly approaching it’s only natural for us gardeners to start plannin...


Tag Cloud

ferns tropical ferns tree ferns brazilian tree fern tasmanian tree fern blechnul golden zebra fern heart fern birds nest fern staghorn fern licorice fern fronds indoor ferns tender ferns rare ferns unusual fernspollinators gardening september fall equinox autumn bees butterflies hummingbird pacific northwest bc british columbia lower mainland surrey langley vancouver mountainsbulbs fall bulbs planting shop local colchicum fox tail lily crocus waterlily crocusmagnolia grandiflora teddy bear magnolia flowers trees blooming summer albizia pink bloomsgarlic broth garlic broth recipes vegan vege vegetarian soup grow your own baking cooking potato brothtomatoes august garden potatoes dill dill stalks recipe borscht sour cream beets golden beetsMacrophylla hydrangeas shrubs deciduous new varieties shady spring flowering canada narcissus daffodils tulips tulipa hyacinth muscari grape hyacinth iris foxtail lily camas lilyfruit fool blog fruit peaches nectarines stone fruit family whipped cream sugar local produce localquince fig ficus fig tree chutney fresh fruit delicious food jam flavor diy garden summertime plants perennials relaxing nature deadhead hibiscus fruit trees pruning growing cherries apricots canning hummingbirds crocrosmia rudbeckia watering mophead hydrangeas lacecap hydrangeas hydrangea basics what is a hydrangea deciduous shrub hydrangea plants panicle hydrangea paniculatahow to grow hydrangeas learn to grow hydrangeas hydrangea care growing hydrangeasnew plants whats new arts nursery ruffles echeveria spinning gum tree eucalyptus hop organic compost fuyu persimmon itoh peony Joanna marlene itoh peony baptisiahanging baskets hanging basket tips hanging basket care growing hanging basketsroses select roses brad brad roses vogue anniversary vogue rose red rose pink rose apricot rose fragrance nursery garden centrecamellia evergreen shrub shrub blooms winter blooms camelia japonica debutante bob hope sasanqua yuletide winter containers porch pots winter planters winter decorations Christmas planters Christmas containers Christmas pots

Blog Roll

Other interesting gardening blogs that we follow include:

Blog RSS Feed

Keep in touch by subscribing to our RSS/Atom News Feeds


Subscribe Via FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Art's Nursery Ltd.

8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

Tel: (604) 882-1201
Fax: (604) 882-5969
Email: info@artsnursery.com
Hours:Hours of Operation
Map:Map & Directions
Contact:Contact Us

Art's Nursery is dog friendly

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

Copyright (c) 2019 Art's Nursery Ltd.  | 8940 192nd Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V4N 3W8  | tel: 604.882.1201  | SiteMap  | Privacy Statement |