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If you are looking for a hydrangea that will give you an unlimited amount of blooms for a much longer cycle than a simple hydrangea, you want to grow the hydrangea Endless Summer variety.
Growing endless summer hydrangeas
Hydrangea Endless Summer is unique because it can produce blooms on new and old growth alike. This is what allows it to rebloom all summer long rather than just bloom the once.
In order to provide for winter care with your Endless Summer, you need to stop any fertilizer application from August. This will give your plant time to acclimate for winter weather. Feeding in the later months will encourage new growth which will get damaged in winter as it will not have had enough time to mature which is why feeding after July is best avoided.
Throughout the end of fall in the start of winter, you want to keep the soil moist until the point that the ground becomes frozen.
Once this happens it’s important to protect your plant by covering the plant with approximately 4 in of organic mulch all around the plant and along the base. This can consist of things like wood mulch or leaves. You don’t necessarily have to cover all the stems all the way to the tip or cut them back but you should cover the majority of the plant. Doing this when the plant is fully dormant, around the end of November and onward, will keep your plant protected throughout the winter. A good way of doing this is usually fleece, mature plants often only need mulching around the base but new younger plants often just need a little extra protection.
When spring time approaches you can uncover the plant as long as the ground is no longer frozen. Your plant will grow from the base and from any old branches that made it through the winter. To that and you need to be patient. This growth will come back slowly especially near the end of spring when the arrival of heat stimulates your plant to grow even faster.
Once you see that there is growth coming through you can start to prune back old branches if necessary. Otherwise you can just sit back and watch as your plant starts to produce new flowers. You should get flowers sometime around the middle of July all the way through the fall. As mentioned, it does grow on new and old growth alike which means you will get multiple rounds of flowers throughout the season.
Pruning your Endless Summer hydrangea
If you need to prune your plant rest assured that it is very forgiving. Because the flowers will come about on new and old growth alike you can choose to prune your Endless Summer hydrangea or not prune it and it won’t matter much in terms of flower production. You won’t harm anything by pruning at different times of the year. The plant will continue to produce new buds and will continue to bloom throughout the season.
One way that you can encourage better blooms for the entire season is to utilize a process called deadheading. Deadheading is where you remove the dying flowers once they have reached maturity. You can simply clip them off at the point that they meet with the stem. Your plant only has so much energy to give away and if it spends most of his energy on the dying or dead plants it won’t have the energy to put into producing the new blooms. So if you deadhead you can encourage the second round of flowers to thrive.
That said once the second round is over, and fall is coming to an end many people leave the dead or dying blooms on their flowers to protect the development of flowers for the following spring. This is particularly important if you live in an area where your plants are outside and not in pots, meaning they are exposed to the entire winter elements.
Changing the color of your flowers
If you have an Endless Summer variety you can attempt to change the color. You can add items to your soil to make them highly alkaline or highly acidic to control the pink or the blue colors you get with your flowers. An Endless Summer variety is a big leaf hydrangea which means that if you add more acid to your soil it will produce blue flowers whereas if you add more alkalinity to your soil it will produce pink flowers.
If you choose to do this it is important to note that you will have to do it every season and it might be best to add whatever element you are choosing to add into your fertilizer, especially if you add fertilizer twice per year. The reason for this is that your soil will automatically go back to its normal pH levels so you can integrate something into your compost or your fertilizer regularly to keep the pH at a level that you prefer and, as a result, keep the flowers at a color that you prefer. If you grow them in pots it’s much easier to control the soil as the soil is all contained and easy to control.