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Hydrangeas: Hard to get a serrata to bloom

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Forum: HydrangeasReplies: 11, Views: 76
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rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9200513

I am trying to obtain the serrata hydrangea "Tuff Stuff" (Canada).

http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/hydrangea/tuff-stuff-reblooming-mountain-hydrangea-hydrangea-serrata

I emailed an independent nursery that I often frequent and got the reply back from the owner that he never brings in serratas as he finds that is very hit and miss to get them to flower (zone 5b).

I was surprised to hear him say this.

Does this make sense? Are they a bit 'finicky' this way?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 10, 2012
12:33 PM

Post #9200523

Like the non-reblooming macrophyllas, H. serrata blooms on old wood so I expect in zone 5 they could suffer from the same problem of buds freezing off unless protected over the winter. But if you're willing to go to the extra effort of protecting it over the winter I think it ought to bloom for you.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2012
1:53 PM

Post #9200612

Ecrane hit it on the money. I am in zone 5a and here is the result I got from a hydrangea serrata shishiva that I overwintered in my unheated garage, with a light quilt over it and 8 ounces of water once a month, in zone 5a.

It has such a delicate beauty. Do buy it. You won't regret it.

Donna

This message was edited Mar 31, 2013 7:14 PM

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click an image for an enlarged view.

rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2012
1:54 PM

Post #9200614

Thanks for the reply ecrane3 and DonnaMack but this particular serrata is advertised as follows on the PW website:

"...we wanted a hydrangea with improved bud and stem hardiness in addition to the ability to flower on new wood..."

I would think that the last bit in this sentence is interesting as it points to the fact that the problem of "buds freezing off" is no longer crucial to generating new flowers.

This message was edited Jul 10, 2012 3:54 PM
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 10, 2012
5:18 PM

Post #9200798

I suspect the nursery owner you talked to was making a general statement about H. serrata (most of which only bloom on old wood), he may not have experience with this particular cultivar. If this cultivar does live up to its advertising then you wouldn't need to protect it, although just like with the reblooming macrophyllas if you do protect it you'll get more blooms because then you'll get both the old & new wood blooms.
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2012
5:23 PM

Post #9200809

[quote="ecrane3"]I suspect the nursery owner you talked to was making a general statement about H. serrata (most of which only bloom on old wood), he may not have experience with this particular cultivar.[/quote]

I am sure this is exactly what has happened.

rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 11, 2012
5:58 AM

Post #9201342

It will so cool if this "Tuff Stuff" comes through as advertised.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2012
7:16 AM

Post #9201431

It would be. I discovered serratas by accident, and I really love them.
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 11, 2012
3:27 PM

Post #9201963

So Donna, I see you are a zone 5a. When do your serratas begin to bloom for you?
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2012
3:54 PM

Post #9201992

Here is a picture from June 18. It's the earliest seasonal picture I have, from 2009. You can see the buds and blooms. So, probably, late May.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rouge21

(Zone 5b)

July 11, 2012
4:48 PM

Post #9202027

Great picture Donna!

So even though you are a zone 5 you haven't had problems with winter kill for the old growth buds?

(Does serrata bloom all summer?)
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2012
5:54 PM

Post #9202075

I have always kept in in my garage, under a quilt, and watered it with 8 ounces of water. Didn't want to take a chance. It appears to bloom May through early September, from my old pictures.

You know the one I'm after? Glen Church. Unusually hardy. I've only seen it in books. It was named for the guy who found it. He is from New Zealand, and it is in his two books on hydrangeas that I found in the library.

This message was edited Mar 31, 2013 7:15 PM

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