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Hydrangea advice please
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TheOrigRights · 14/01/2022 10:56

I have a hydrangea. It was blue.
It has not flowered for the last two years, but was otherwise very green, leafy and healthy looking.

Last year I think I pruned it right back in autumn. There was then some new leaf growth which was then damaged by frost, but after those died off it carried on growing well.

This year I have left it entirely. What should I do now?
Do I need to prune it right back?
Do I need to protect it from frost (I have some garden fleece stuff).
Do I need to feed it now? It's in ericaceous soil (bought) in a large container.

I am not a gardener, I have lots of pots with bulbs and then summer flowers which I enjoy, but I don't really know anything technical.

Any advice would be welcome.

Hydrangea advice please
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Palavah · 14/01/2022 10:59

Mine are looking similarly sad, but i do know you're not supposed to prune when it's cold.

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ShirleyBadass · 14/01/2022 11:03

Mine are budding already!

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bilbodog · 14/01/2022 11:05

Leave it until april then prune back about half way cutting just above a green bud and it should be fine. Dont forget to feed.

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TheOrigRights · 14/01/2022 11:48

Quick replies (love MN!).

So...

Don't prune.
Do feed.

Do I need to protect it from frost?

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Cochabamba · 14/01/2022 11:59

I don't do anything to mine at all

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RosieRainbow1986 · 14/01/2022 12:06

I don't think you need to protect from frost - I never have and they'vebeen fine! But definitely feed if they're in a pot and I'd say prune back April time. Once you know what to do with them they're very easy to look after and always look beautiful! :-)

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EducatingArti · 14/01/2022 12:07

Ooh. I know about this from experience and then hearing them discuss it on gardener's question time! If you prune a lot, it won't flower very much or at all that year. I'd leave it just as it is this year so you hopefully get flowers then in subsequent years prune no more than a third of the stems.
It is also looking rather large for its container. I would either pot up to a bigger pot ( any time from now) with more ericaceous compost or see if you have somewhere you can put it in the ground. In this case use ericaceous compost in the planting hole and on top as a mulch.

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Anjo2011 · 14/01/2022 21:31

Agree with the above advice, also it looks like the pot is quite small, they like some space for their roots. Perhaps move to a bigger pot or if you have room put it straight in the ground.

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TheOrigRights · 15/01/2022 11:16

Thanks.

So, bigger pot, feed and don't prune.

Can I repot now?
Yay, I love a trip to the garden centre Flowers

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TheOrigRights · 15/01/2022 11:19

Another pic of the pot.
I think it might have looked smaller than it actually is in my first pic.
I'll still repot it though.

Hydrangea advice please
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coolpattern · 15/01/2022 11:43

What do you feed hydrangeas with? I use tomatoe feed on most plants.

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GingerFoxInAT0phat · 15/01/2022 11:52

Do you know what kind of hydrangea it is? Some varieties grow on old wood and some on new wood.

On my hydrangeas I leave the the heads on until about March before cutting them off above a new bud.

Different varieties can be hard pruned almost down to the ground and will still flower.

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ppeatfruit · 15/01/2022 16:19

Does it get enough shady, sun (if you see what I mean?) Does it have those lovely large triangular flowers? They are quite delicate IME . I reckon the breeders are going for effect rather than plant strength .

I bought one of those flashy shaped ones and it lasted for 2 years in the ground. The normal shaped old fashioned type ones have lasted for 16 years (when we moved here) and are still happy in my garden.

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Autumnscene · 15/01/2022 18:17

I have quite a lot of experience with hydrangeas. If yours is a mop head then I would leave it alone this year. Feed it yes, but hydrangeas on the whole don’t like being in pots much. Watch it with interest, your picture isn’t clear, are there buds on the stems ? If so, those buds should flower. When the flowers die, chop them off just above the new bud forming under on the stem. But don’t do it until risk of frost has past in 2023.

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KellyABC · 15/01/2022 18:28

As mentioned above when it does next flower, don't cut off the blooms until next spring.

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purplesequins · 15/01/2022 18:42

agree with most.
don't cut anything now.
give it a rose&shrub feed in spring when it starts to grow (april-ish).
only cut the flowers in early spring.

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Verbena87 · 21/01/2022 23:12

@Autumnscene any advice for getting an absolutely massive feral one under control (or just right out?!). We inherited it when we moved in and it’s basically the size of a small car. I hacked off about half of it last year (it involved a pruning saw and woody bits as thick as my forearms) thinking it might be possible to get it to a more reasonable size but it’s sprung back like nobody’s business and seems as huge as ever.

I don’t want to poison it - feels like murder - but I do really want the ground for other stuff and I cannot work out how to deal with it!

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LoveFall · 21/01/2022 23:27

Hi OP. To me, that hydrangea looks very cramped in that pot. I would be inclined to repot it fairly soon, in a much bigger pot, let it settle for a month and then prune it back to just above the second or third bud from the top.

I have had very good luck with pruning them quite hard, but they are large. I usually take them down to about chest height.

A garden center can advise you on soil. And fertilizer. We have quite acid soil here and they thrive.

Good luck. Hydrangeas are so lovely.

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Autumnscene · 22/01/2022 16:45

[quote Verbena87]@Autumnscene any advice for getting an absolutely massive feral one under control (or just right out?!). We inherited it when we moved in and it’s basically the size of a small car. I hacked off about half of it last year (it involved a pruning saw and woody bits as thick as my forearms) thinking it might be possible to get it to a more reasonable size but it’s sprung back like nobody’s business and seems as huge as ever.

I don’t want to poison it - feels like murder - but I do really want the ground for other stuff and I cannot work out how to deal with it![/quote]
Verbena87 it sounds like a monster, but also sounds very robust. Is there a way that you could dig it up and split it ? Or if not, take cuttings and restart it. There’s a couple of YouTube tutorials.

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singlenamestar · 22/01/2022 17:47

Ooh interested in when to feed
I have left the flowers on mine as thought it was protective?

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Verbena87 · 22/01/2022 20:06

@Autumnscene I’ll look into cuttings. I don’t think I can split it because I genuinely don’t think I can dig it up without chains and a vehicle to hoik out the root ball!

OP hope you get yours sorted - sorry for hijacking!

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Sideswiped · 22/01/2022 20:10

@singlenamestar, that's my understanding - that you don't prune now as the old foliage / flowers provide some degree of frost protection.

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TheOrigRights · 10/02/2022 16:04

I thought I had posted an update, but I must have just thought about it.

So, I didn't put it in a larger pot because they are ridiculously expensive and I don't love it that much. It's already 56cm in diameter.

But I did carefully replace all the soil with a fresh bag of ericaceous soil and feed it.

I haven't cut it back and it is starting to get some new growth on the ends.

Fingers crossed.

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Autumnscene · 10/02/2022 18:04

it’s thanking you already op for the new soil 👍 it’ll be fine for a year or two. Guessing you haven’t got the room in your garden to plant it out ?

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TheOrigRights · 11/05/2022 11:26

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

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