"Endless Summer" Hydrangea
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Blue-flowered Hydrangeas are garden favorites. The new ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea is an excellent choice because it blooms on the current season’s wood.
To get the most from ‘Endless Summer’, plant it in a sheltered location away from strong winds (not the Southwest or Northwest corners of buildings). Often, an eastern exposure is the best. Plant in loose, rich, water-retentive soil. Incorporate acid peat and elemental sulfur when you plant, and mulch the surface with cottonseed meal to maintain the blue color. Avoid watering from the municipal water system because it will change the pH of the soil, neutralizing the acidity. Blue flowers require acid soil conditions; if your plant has pink flowers, and you want blue, you must acidify the soil. Use sulfur, copperas or cottonseed meal to do so.
Keep evenly moist, and fertilize lightly with a low-nitrogen acid fertilizer, such as Bachman’s Excel-Gro Acid Formula. As the old flowers fade, prune them out to encourage new blooms. Once ‘Endless Summer’ is established, expect flowers June to frost. Winter weather can cause some dieback; prune out any dead wood in mid-spring.
Cut flowers can be dried for indoor decoration. Cut stems and hand upside down in a cool, dry location. After a few weeks, the now-dry stems may be used in arrangements.
© Bachman’s 2004
Author: Jackie Alfonso, Horticulturist