New Hydrangea grower

Copperas Cove, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm fairly new to growing Hydrangeas though we've tried a couple of times by planting them here in the ground and they almost immediately died from the heat though we watered them about every day. This time what I bought one I was determined to keep it alive so I put it in a large clay pot with a large drainage hole and large saucer. It's sitting right inside the door of my greenhouse and not getting any direct sun. I'm checking it daily and watering as necessary, which seems to be every day. Some questions, do I need to fertilize it? If so, what with? What do I do with the blooms after they're done? Do I dead head them? If so, how far down do I cut the old flowers off? If anyone has any suggestions I'd surely appreciate them.

Chris

Thumbnail by chris1948
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Yes, you need to fertlilize it. The minerals on your potting medium will leech out fast due to the frequent waterings and need to be replenished. The best fertilizer for camellias on the ground is plain old composted cow manure but you can also use organic compost, cottonseed meal or any slow-release general purpose chemical fertilizer (a NPK Ratio of 10-10-10 should be fine). Due to its convenience, I would try the 10-10-10 fertilizer. Remember to fertilize almost all year around too.

People leave the blooms out there on the plant. Most times they fall on their own but yesterday I noticed some that were still hanging, by a thread literally. You can deadhead them at any time if you wish as long as you do not cut the stem. Cut the thread that connects the bloom to the stems. Invisible flower buds develop at the very ends of the stems so exercise care when cutting the spent blooms.

Here is an interesting website:
http://hydrangeashydrangeas.com/fertilize.html

The potted plants can be gradually introduced to the outside by taking them out for a stroll for a few hours until it you feel they will be fine in their eventual location. However, temps here regularly get to the 90s in May and then you have to make sure that they sun starting around 12pmish in a place with little wind (so the light summer winds will not dry them up). Otherwise, the leaves will scorch and suffer (probably turn all yellow -including the leaf veins- or kind of whiteish).

Luis

Copperas Cove, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the reply Luis, I'm in Zone 8, Central Texas and soil is one problem here I believe that is causing the issue with not allowing them to grow once they're in the ground and of course the dry summer heat and hot wind. The last two I planted on the east side of the house so that they'd get the morning sun but even that at times would be 90 or so before it passed by. So far it's doing great sitting just inside the doorway of my greenhouse with the door rolled up. I check it every day to see if it needs watered and add some if necessary. I also add some to the dish under the pot. It also gets misted daily whether it gets watered fully or not. It wasn't a very expensive plant, I think I paid $13.00 for it at Lowes so if I lose it not a lot of money wasted but if I can keep it alive I'll consider it an accomplishment. The real test if it's still around this winter will be to see how it survives in the greenhouse.

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