Why Doesn’t my Endless Summer Hydrangea Bloom?
This is the question I hear from frustrated gardeners all over the country. This shrub was supposed to give gardeners in cold regions those same outrageous blue hydrangeas that we love so much on Cape Cod. They are supposed to flower on new growth and be, well, endless right?
Here’s what gardeners in colder regions (zone 5 and below) need to know. Endless Summer does flower on new growth, but most of the flowers are developed on old wood. In late-summer the plant forms the germ of the majority of its flowers for the next year. If you live in an area where the winter temperatures don’t go below 5 degrees Fahrenheit these buds will survive the cold and go on to bloom in mid-summer the following season.
But if you live where the temperatures drop to zero or below, those buds are killed by the cold. In zones 4 or 5 gardeners often find dead canes in the spring instead of stems with green buds. Yes, the plant lives through the winter, but the growth comes back from the ground, not the stems where future flowers were already formed.
The blooming problem can be further compounded by a short growing season. In colder parts of the country the flowers that are formed later in the fall on new growth might not have time to open before the first hard frost. So if you’re gardening in a cold zone 5 or below it’s possible that your Endless Summer might often be an Endless Exasperation.
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