Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hydrangea angst

I was looking with a bit of envy at some lovely hydrangeas at Carolyn's blog, and Kylee's blog,
and got to thinking about my hydrangea aspirations and the pitiful reality. I planted this hydrangea four years ago, it has struggled and struggled in my alkaline soil, and the zone 5, dry desert weather I've got for it to grow in. There is little shade and no 'wet' spot in my yard. I have a few plants I nurse along, and this is one of them. It is about a foot tall, and chlorotic, and has one bloom on it so far this year. I have not been very diligent at giving it some acidic fertilizer(I've even gone so far, in years past, to throwing a brew of stale coffee grounds soaked in water with a bit of vinegar added on it) this year, so far. All it has gotten this year is extra water. Poor little thing! I will look into some of those zone 4 Hydrangeas and see if that might do better.


Kylee said...

Muum, hang in there. I've got some that are looking chlorotic right now, too. We do have acidic soil, but I think it's the weird summer that is playing havoc with nearly all our plants.

You know what I find is the best solution when you've had a plant that long and it refuses to play nice? Ignore it. Really. I don't know why that seems to work, but for me, nine times out of ten I'm causing a plant more harm than good and letting it sink or swim usually straightens it right out.

Carolyn gail said...


Just happened to read this post on your ailing hydrangea. That's a mycrophylla or large leaf hydrangea which is sort of marginal for our zone 5 gardens.

As you can see they are very demanding for the right kind of soil and if it's too alkaline they won't be happy .

Can you get a product called Nature's Blend Cotton Burr Compost in your area ? Usually the good garden centers carry it. Also, fine pine bark such as Black Forest Soil Conditioner will help your poor hydrangea come to life. If you were to dig it up and incorporate some of the aforementioned products in the soil, then replant it, I think it would revive it. With lots of organic matter in the soil the moisture would remain a lot longer.

Good luck with it.