As I uncovered the leaves from the base of the Blushing Bride hydrangea, I found that a couple of the branches had formed roots which will be new plants! This form of ‘root layering’ or ‘ground layering’ is a great way to start a new shrub from an established one.
Rooted Hydrangea Branch
It’s bare and spindly looking stems are curving out from the center and then upward and at least two of them were touching the ground enough to form roots. Now, new growth is showing beyond the roots which means I will have a couple of new little baby hydrangea plants!
I have propagated hydrangeas this way before, back when I lived in my rental house. I had found a rooted stem with big leaves and a flower that was growing separate from the main bush, so I dug it up and planted it near the front steps. You can read about how I did it on my Propagating Hydrangeas page about root layering.
So for now I will let the babies grow – attached to the main plant – until they get larger. I’ll probably dig them up in the Fall and find them a place to grow on their own. I love to find free ways to landscape. Isn’t that exciting?
dried hydrangea on stem
Last summer was the first time I planted my own hydrangea shrubs in the yard. I planted six shrubs which were a combination of the macrophylla and paniculata variety and had flowers that were blue, white, pink and somewhat green by summer’s end.
Because hydrangeas last so long on the bush, I just let them continue to change and fade and eventually dry out on their stems. I left them alone over the winter and some of the dried heads fell off, but some stayed attached until this spring.
So when is the best time to remove the flower heads? Unlike some other perennial and annul plants, the hydrangea does not need dead-heading to flourish. The dried flowers look just fine and even add some interest against the winter snow.
But, I have decided to remove the dead flowers next Fall. My shrubs are all quite small and the snow on the flowers tended to pull the stems down and bury the stalks under all that snow. With just the stems left on the shrub, the snow should not be able to do as much damage.
So that is my plan for the end of the growing season this year.
Growth on Old Wood
Now that the hydrangeas have sprung back from the weight of the snow, I realize I have some trimming and pruning to do. I leave the dead flowers on the stalks over winter, but now they need to be removed. Some branches are broken, but I know that they will fill in quickly with new growth.
Some hydrangeas bloom on new growth so you don’t want to trim those in Spring, or you may be cutting off the blooms. Some bloom on old wood – the stems that were there last year. And some will bloom on both.
This is my “Endless Summer”, a small shrub that I planted last Spring and it bloomed profusely even though it never grew very large. This year I expect it will grow larger and lots of blue flowers. The dead flowers are still showing at the end of the stalks and I will be cutting them off.
Bent and Broken Hydrangea Under the Snow
Today it was close to 60 degrees and I got outside to view my gardens – at least the areas that are snow free. Until I can get to the perennials I will have to blog about other gardening things – like starting some vegetable seeds, and buying loam and grass seed!
This blog is forgotten for most of the winter months because I live in New England and there is certainly no gardening going on in my yard at that time of year. I spend my time organizing my online stores and creating new wedding designs for Spring. When my business picks up in Spring and Summer, so does this blog readership, but I get motivated to make time to take photos and write because it’s what I love to do – garden!
I just took this picture today and it shows how my hydrangeas are still weighed down in places by packed snow. I’m happy to see that they are not totally destroyed and I think I may look into a cover for them for next winter. I’d like the A-frame wooden type. I also need nets to put over my Rhododendrons that will not be blooming at all thanks to the many hungry deer that snacked on them.
Hydrangeas are quite hardy and the branches tend to bend under the weight instead of breaking. I may do some trimming once they are uncovered. Any hydrangeas that bloom on old and new wood can be trimmed if needed.
We have a lot of snow
I am a little worried about my hydrangeas. When I planted my babies last Spring I had to take a lot into consideration. Will they get enough sun, too much sun, and was the spot I chose enough room for them to grow to their potential. I also had to consider the snow plowing.
Well, last winter was a strange one for us, and much of the U.S. when we had very little snow. I had just moved into a new home and that winter really told me nothing about conditions and snow piles that would occur in a normal year. So I had to guess.
I put the Pinky Winky hydrangea at the edge of the garage. The one big storm we had meant that I had one big snowstorm in October and the snow was easily pushed to the grass out of the way. I thought the plant would be safe in the spot I chose. Now, I am not so sure.
As you can see in my picture, there is quite a bit of snow that has been pushed up into the spot – very close to where my hydrangea is sitting, buried in many feet of snow. Each time the plow comes that whole pile is slammed into with the truck, trying to get it out of the driveway.
If the bush survives this winter, I think it will be okay because I am planning to get a snow-blower for the following years. My small, downward sloping driveway doesn’t give the plow guys much to work with and I can’t even use the right side of my garage at this point.
I just hope the Pinky Winky won’t be broken.
my Pinky Winky