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Hydrangea Endless Summer: how should you properly care for, fertilize and cut this hardy plant?

Endless Summer is a collection of perennial hydrangeas ( Hydrangea macrophylla ) that have the unique ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the spring and summer months, adding color and appeal to your garden over a longer period of time. Hardy hydrangeas are known to bloom 10 to 12 weeks longer than average Hydrangea macrophylla plants and do well in colder climates because they are able to bloom on the current season’s new growth. Below, we provide tips on how to care for your Endless Summer hydrangea.

The history of this beautiful plant

Hydrangea Endless Summer - tips, care, location, fertilizing

Hydrangeas Endless Summer are unique and take the traditional flower to a new level. They can grow their huge, bold blooms on both old and new wood, which is an especially long bloom period and allows for the possibility of repeat blooms. You can even customize your hydrangea by adjusting the pH of the soil to produce either bright blue, pale lavender, soft purple or deep pink flowers. As cold hardy specimens, these flowers can even tolerate frost.

How to care for your hydrangea

This plant was discovered in 1998 during a tour of the Bailey Nurseries experimental facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. During that visit, Dr. Michael Dirr, a well-known professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, noticed a unique hydrangea that produced flowers on both old wood (like most varieties) and new shoots. He had never seen this characteristic before. So he focused on this particular trait at his plant breeding facility in Georgia. On the flight home, he scribbled the name “Endless Summer” in his notebook.

Sun and shade: the right location for hydrangea Endless Summer.

The right location for hydrangea Endless Summer - important information

It is recommended that you plant your hydrangeas in a location that offers full sun in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon. The further south you live, the less Hyndragea macrophylla will tolerate intense sun. Look for 2-3 hours of morning sun with afternoon shade or partial shade.

Care: choose the right soil

Clay soil for your hydrangea

The ideal soil type for these plants is loam. Also, a good soil should contain at least 5 percent organic matter, which is compost, also known as humus.

Water the plant regularly

Hardy hydrangea Endless Summer - care, fertilize, water, soil, location.

These flowers prefer a well-drained, moist, but not too wet soil. Overwatering can cause Hydrangea macrophylla to produce fewer flowers. Depending on the soil type, you may need to adjust the frequency and amount of watering. If your hydrangeas are planted in an area with high temperatures, they may wilt a bit in the afternoon, but they will recover when temperatures cool. You can help them by watering in the morning or evening when there is no wind and the sun is less hot. Using mulch is another good way to conserve water and keep the soil cool. Plants covered with mulch can usually survive longer periods without watering than plants that are not mulched.

Fertilizing Hydrangea Endless Summer

You should fertilize your flowers once each spring or summer. Use a special slow-release fertilizer or a fast-release fertilizer.

Prune your plant as follows

Hydrangea Endless Summer - pruning tips and ideas

Pruning many plants helps them rejuvenate so they can produce healthy new foliage and beautiful flowers. Hydrangea Endless Summer is one plant that benefits from this practice. Early spring is the perfect time to prune and prepare them for the season. A little work will pay off with healthy growth this year. Make sure your plants are the Endless Summer variety, as it is one of the few varieties that will bloom the same year it is pruned. These flowers are usually the ones that bloom pink or blue throughout the summer. If your hydrangea is not an Endless Summer or if you are unsure of the variety, the best time to shape and size prune is immediately after blooming. This will help you avoid accidentally removing the buds that the hydrangea will form next year.

Clean bypass shears are best for this task. The shears can be cleaned with household cleaners to prevent the spread of disease. Cut your plants back about 30 inches above the ground, making an angle away from the bud. If you trim the center a little higher, you’ll get a nice shape. If branches cross, one of those branches should be removed.

Pruning can continue throughout the growing season to remove diseased, damaged or dead material. Any pruning outside of these periods will make the plant susceptible to stress and disease .

Hydrangea Endless Summer – overwintering.

Wintering of this hardy plant - pictures

If you live in an area with freezing temperatures in the winter, it is advisable to protect your plants. Since these flowers bloom on last year’s growth as well as current growth, you will get the most blooms if you protect the flower buds on the old wood. Therefore, you should not cut back your shrubs after August 1. If you leave the fall flowers on your plants through the winter, make sure not to remove the buds that will become flowers in the spring and summer. Leaves, wood mulch and/or straw are good ways to insulate your plants. Pile the mulch or leaves around their plants to protect the flower buds that will bloom early next year.

If you planted your hydrangeas in a flower container, place the entire container in your garage or a cool basement for the winter months. Container plants do not need as much mulch, but should be watered lightly during the winter months as they do not receive moisture from snow and rain.