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Thread: (Hydrangea)Macrophylla 'Berlin'- a doomed plant ?

  1. #1
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    (Hydrangea)Macrophylla 'Berlin'- a doomed plant ?

    I've acquired several 'throw away' plants from church. I have 5, what I believe to be, macrophylla 'taube' that look like the phto below. They are growing like gangbusters in less than ideal conditions bound in their plastic pots 'til I figure out where to put them.
    http://www.hydrangeaselect.com/Merch...duct_Code=HM16

    And I just acquired 2 macrophylla 'berlin'(that was an easy ID -they had a tag). I just now read that they are doomed as doomed can be 'cause " it['s] very delicate and can't live outside. It is always root bound to force it to bloom, and can't recover from this treatment. It works great as a throw away house plant." Photo below but mine was blue :
    http://www.dahlwatt.com/VARIETIES%20UNDER%20TEST.htm

    Does anyone know if this is true. Not that I expect anyone to know that particular variety but in general are macrophylla salvagable(can plant them outdoors) ? I'm thinking maybe that comment was just a sweeping one directed at all Easter related hydrangeas.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 06-14-2004 at 07:35 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    hydrangea survival

    Cathy--We planted out our "forced" hydrangea years ago, and have to hack it back yearly to keep it under control. I would suspect this might be an attempt to keep you buying new plants every year rather than enjoying this one for years and years!

    Even here on the west coast macrophyllas are sensitive to hot summer sun, they always wilt and get a bit of leaf damage on days like today that approach 30C.

    If I were you I would try it outside in a well watered spot with afternoon shade...I believe your zone there in Kansas is okay...I think they are grown in southern Ontario with some difficulty...the heat will be more of a problem than winter cold I'm guessing.

    Good luck, hopefully my advice from far away is correct...these plants grow here very easily but places like Ann's would have some trouble so I could be out to lunch trying to help you there too!

    Glen

  3. #3
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    Glen,

    Hydrangeas are like azaleas here. We grow them in full sun. I am told that the reason we can do that is the amount of rainfall that we get during the summer months.

    Right now, our temperatures are in the upper 80's and low 90's. The humidity is really high, so the heat index soars at times. Our temperatures will stay this way for a couple more months before they start to drop. Then they will drop fast, but not near as fast as further inland.

    I have some dwarf pink ones that I planted in mostly shade. They have remained on the smaller side, so I have not had to prune them. They are no longer pink, but are now a purplish blue. They start out rather pink, but the color changes as the blooms open.

    My mother took some cuttings. She couldn't wait until the blooms faded, so I picked a few really pretty ones for her. She is not very good with cuttings, and I know that she did not use rooting hormone. She tells me that she did remove the flower, though.

    I'll have to check with her to see whether they rooted. If not, I need to root some for her. I only have a few more blooms left. The leaves are a prettier, darker green on these. That may be because they get very little direct sun.

    Hydranges like lots and lots (did I say lots?) of water and need it until their roots get firmly planted into the ground.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
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    Southern hydrangeas

    Thanks for the clarification, Ann! After posting my reply, I happened to see another message from you where you mentioned hydrangeas growing easily there!

    As you say, the summer rains must make the difference, or maybe I would go for your summer humidity, coz I can certainly run the sprinkler on mine to keep it well watered. Still wilts and gets some leaf scorch on hot days.

    Here the modified Mediterranean type climate means we get low humidity in the summer, on the breezes off the cooler ocean water...same sort of thing as the California coast. I'm always amazed that you eastern folks can survive with both high temps and high humidity...maybe my hydrangeas would be okay with that but not me !

    How about Kansas, Cathy? The wizard of Oz didn't include enough weather info, other than something about a tornado one time...hot and dry, or hot and humid?

    Glen

  5. #5
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    Hot and Dry ! Sometimes it's just as if you would stick your head under the hood of your car while the engine is running.
    The 'macs' did start wilting from the heat and I moved them under some trees for now. I have to watch the water also as being in pots I think they dry out faster. The plans right now are for the east side of the house. I guess I could put Berlin out there too and see if it makes it; if it doesn't, chances are there will be another abandoned after Easter next year.
    Re the weather--it is sooo strange right now--we had 5 inches of rain Fri and Sat and the temps are low--should be 80's all week. It should be 100 plus temps right now ! But I am not complaining
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
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    As said above, commercial plant growers do a lot of things with plants that cause them to bloom during high sale periods. Generally they do this with environment changes that confuse the plant just for a particular season. Of course they want you to believe these are "special" plants that cannot be reused. I always discount that instruction until I prove it for myself.

    The main reason your plants wilt is not so much the heat; it's the lack of humidity that stresses them. Those big leaves transpire a lot of moisture, especially when it is both hot and dry. Chances are the pots are filled with roots, and there is little room left to retain moisture. It will take a couple of seasons for them to establish a root system in the ground that will sustain them so you will have to be careful to keep them watered. If possible, put them in the ground and let them begin to expand their root system before winter. They don't do so well in pots, outside, in winter. In your dry conditions I would pick a spot where they get afternoon shade.
    Last edited by Tom; 07-26-2004 at 11:39 AM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  7. #7
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    Tom- So it’s a play on the old saying,’it’s not the heat , it’s the humidity’ only here it’s ‘it’s not the heat, it’s the lack of humidity’ ! Good point—those big leaves have a big surface area. The east side of the house has morning sun sort of(filtered by trees) and no afternoon sun. I have to evict 6 lily bulbs that I should never have planted there in the first place so I have to wait til Fall but the macs will be in there before winter—now that I think about it, I might be able to plant around the lily bulbs somewhat right now—thanks for making me think that one through !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  8. #8
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    Cathy,

    Even with our exceptionally high humidity provided by the Gulf, the Mobile Bay and the Delta, any water loving plant is going to need lots and lots of watering.

    I have a native azalea that I purchased. It is in a large pot. I have not been able to plant it, and it is one of the first to tell me that it needs water.

    I have a huge sun loving coleus (in a pot) that needs lots of water every day or it droops by noon.

    Both are obviously root bound. Both are in the shade. Both desperately need to be planted. The coleus will not make it this year, but I will take cuttings and have more for next year. The native azalea will be in its new home as soon as the temps start to fall. By then, I should be able to do more digging.

    In the meantime, I water them every day.

    Your lilium most likely can be moved now without harm. Just dig up the clump and try to keep as many roots and soil with them. Have the new spot ready and well watered, and transplant them as soon as you can.

    In the meantime, I don't think it would hurt your hydrangea to cut off the outer halfs of the leaves to reduce transpiration. They will not look as pretty, but it will reduce transpiration. Also, try mulching the base of the plant (in the pot). That will help the soil retain moisture and keep the roots cool.

    Glen, the breezes from the Gulf tend to make this environment bareable, but I must say that even though the temps rarely go above the low 90's, the heat index often sores. I grew up without air conditioning, but there is something to be said for an attic fan. You get used to it.

    I am not sure I could survive below zero freezing weather for one day, much less a whole winter. But then, again, it is what you are used to, isn't it?

    Tom, I agree! Many times they tell you that the plant is a florists plant and will not survive in your garden. My 'pink' florist hydrangeas will tell you differently. They are quite happy and healthy where I planted them.

    BTW, my mother's cuttings didn't survive, so I need to get busy and root some for her. For some reason (and I know why), she likes these more than the common ones you find around her. For one thing, the leaves are darker, and the plants do not get quite as big requiring pruning.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    I think you all were right ! Barring any unforseen rabbit attack, it does appear that the macrophylla 'berlin'(one died early on last summer ) did make it through winter ! I checked on it and the 'other' macros and all had green coming up from the ground. I was relieved because the rabbits did a number on the top growth and I thought that that was where the new growth would come from. It might turn out that's where the FLOWERS come from !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




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