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Thread: Hydrangeas

  1. #1

    Default Hydrangeas

    Have any of you tried to grow Hydrangeas here in Alaska? I am thinking about trying a couple of the Nikko Blue and was just wondering anyone else had tried or might have some advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006


    I have done them in the summer, got them from Bell's and they did well. I am overwintering some right now that are doing well. I talked with Steph at Bell's about them and they carry two kinds, an annual one and a perenial hydrangea. I think I got the annual one last year and don't expect them to comeback, I am going to try the perennial one this year and see if it makes it.

  3. #3

    Default Hey Yukon

    I had given up that anyone was going to respond on this one. I tried the Fred Meyers ones. They do okay but they die and must be the annual ones. Read too that they are forced and aren't really meant to try and over winter. I am 2 for 2 losing them so thought I would try something different. Haven't seen any of them in the local stores yet and should probably make a run to Bell's in Anchorage. We live in the Valley so have to save up errands. I was wondering about the PEE GEE ones. I am thinking the mop heads are sort of out of the question. I want to plant it outdoors and leave it. I already have fuchsias that I over winter indoors and then in spring with the seedlings I am overwhelmed! So have been trying to find plants that can stay out. I have a south side near the foundation that would be about the warmest spot in the yard. Do you know what they name of the perrenial was? Happy Gardening and thanks for the response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Don't be let down by your past experiences here is a clip from the akmg newsletter

    Hydrangeas For Alaska
    by Mary Jo Burns
    I’m looking to add shrubs to my landscape to reduce maintenance. Shorter types of
    shrubs with year around interest would work well. In my search I found a couple of
    great books at the Library,
    Hydrangeas for American Gardens by Michael A. Dirr and

    Growing Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates
    by Nancy Rose, Don Selinger, and John
    Hydrangeas for American Gardens I found information about the different species
    of Hydrangea and how they perform, size, color and general growing information. The
    other book
    Growing Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates has a special section on
    Hydrangea. The chart of tested varieties with all the important information on height
    and color and cold hardiness in Fahrenheit was easy to find. Also, they included a five
    star rating system that is subjective but done by field experts. There are four different species with a 'favored varieties
    list' under each. I’ll give a brief review of these.

    Hydrangea anomala
    (climbing or vining Hydrangea) ssp. Petiolaris - 5 stars: White. 30’ height, 10’ wide, -25ºF hardiness.
    It blooms on old wood. The flowers are 6-8 inch flat clusters of scented flowers.

    Hydrangea arborescens
    (smooth Hydrangea) ‘Annabelle’ - 4 stars: white flower color, 5’ tall 5’ wide, and hardiness of
    –35; These plants bloom on new wood. They thrive in partial shade and have a deeper green foliage in such a location.

    Hydrangea macrophylla
    (big leaf Hydrangea, Hortensia) ‘All Summer Beauty’ 4 star rating, color Blue or pink blue, 4’ tall
    5’ wide, -20ºF hardiness. There are many more cultivars listed in the book.

    Hydrangea paniculata
    (Panicle Hydrangea) ‘Brussels Lace’ 4 star rating, Ivory color, 7’ tall, 7’ wide, -35 hardiness.
    Grandiflora’ or ‘Peegee’*** (this is one I have had for several years now). White, 10’ tall, 6’ wide, and hardiness to –
    35)ºF. These plants bloom on new wood. They seem to grow best in full sun. Mine is only 2’ after 4 years. The moose
    prune it for me. It flowers on new growth.
    ‘Pink Diamond’ - 3 stars, Ivory, 9’ tall 9’ wide, -35ºF.
    I won’t go on with all the others here. You can read the book if you’d like more information.
    Armed with all this information, I went back to the
    Hydrangeas for American Gardens book to see what he said about all
    these varieties.
    Hydrangeas for American Gardens is a newer book just published in 2004. In the section on “Hydrangea
    macrophylla”, I read where extensive breeding of some cultivars listed as very hardy in the other book was developing
    good mildew resistance and other desirable traits. Bailey Nurseries, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota, discovered a plant with
    special remontant (reblooming in the same season) and began developing it further. A plant patent was obtained for this
    plant, ‘Endless summer’ (‘Bailmer’) to protect the rights to it. Many were released in 2003, more in 2004. Now I see it
    listed in Fritz Creek’s Catalog and Margaret at Alaska Mill and Feed says they will have it this spring for sale. So now we
    are all in on the latest information. Isn’t that fun? Of course, this isn’t the end of the story because now ‘Endless
    Summer’ is being propagated and crossed, with the “rest of the story” to come in the following years.
    This is what is written about ‘Endless Summer’: Mophead flower type, pink to blue color, medium green foliage, 3’ to 4’
    tall, Blooms in June. ’Endless Summer’ is remontant, which means it could get an early frost that kills the buds (or a moose
    could nibble them) and then still bloom about 10-12 weeks later from new shoots. For continuous color, one could remove
    half the flowers, allowing the remainder to dry on the plant while the new shoots are producing flower buds for the later
    show, in October, if weather allows. Fritz Creek catalog calls it a zone 4, and 5’ tall. Moist, well-drained soil, mostly sun
    is recommended. It is for sale for $28 in a 1.5 gallon pot.

    Others for sale in the Fritz Creek Catalog are:
    aborescens - rated ****, large cluster of flat, white flowers and large green leaves.
    paniculata – Cone-shaped flower, bright green in spring and pink, burgundy and green in fall , 7’ tall, Zone 2, 2
    gal pot - $22.
    ‘Little Lamb’
    paniculata - unique, compact form, small, full panicles of tight white florets. 7’tall, Zone 2 gal. Pot for
    paniculata grandiflora – rated ***, 6’ tall, Zone 3-4, 1 gal. Pot $10.00
    upright habit, white flowers turning reddish pink in summer,
    7’tall, Zone 2, 2 gal. Pot $22.00
    Alaska Mill and Feed will have ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Diamond
    Pink’ and ‘Peegee’ for sale. I don’t know the size and price
    at this time. This is not a book report or a plug for these
    nurseries. I hope the information is of interest to you.
    There certainly was more information in the books
    mentioned than I could digest. Now, at least, I know
    enough to be able to purchase hydrangea with confidence.
    Notice, I didn’t say I will purchase one. I’m still thinking
    about it. If you have any feedback or further information,
    I would appreciate feedback.

    This year I have two endless summer's out I think they were $18 from bells as mentioned in another post I also grow Kiwi outside hydrangea grown in a large container can also be brought in cut back and made into a house plant for the winter.


  5. #5

    Talking Oh my gosh, thanks

    Thank you for all the information. I have been thinking the annabell would be a good choice but I had no idea they got that big. As you mentioned yours hasn't yet readched it's "potential" but one has to figure that in when planting. I am now armed with options and places to purchase thank you so much! I had just tried the Freddies varieties and they aren't suited at all to here of course. They have never survived my overwintering efforts either. I have a south facing wall with a bed up on the foundation that is where I am thinking I want to put it. I have bleeding hearts there now that are just gorgeous in the Spring but bloom so early they are dead by July. It leaves this wonderful full sun warm spot empty for the better part of the summer. I am going to take the plunge and who knows maybe try more than one kind! Good to now about the newer ones that are improved. I may just have to get the book! I will need all the planting and care information too! I fence my lilac which is in the same spot so the moose don't get it in the winter. In the summer we don't have many come around and there is more natural foraging for them so they leave my plants alone. Well except this one comes and eats my red tulips. Not all just one or two. I had all but given up on the hydrangea idea as I had received no feed back so again THANK-YOU so much!


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