Plants: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer' - big-leaf hydrangea, French hydrangea
ENDLESS SUMMER® | Attention, hydrangea lovers! Are you sick and tired of never-ending grieving upon your frost-damaged hydrangeas that only make a jungle of leaves but no blossoms? Continue reading as we have a life-altering experience for you! Two decades after its discovery in the USA there is a plant being imported and distributed also in Europe. Does it sound like a cheap TV shop commercial? Well, it might. But you know what – it is true! The plant is called ENDLESS SUMMER® and was bred by the horticulturists from the Bailey Nurseries in Minnesota, USA. It was patented in the USA under US PP 15,298.The typical mop-head flowers can have upto 15-20 cm in diameter and start blooming in the first hot days of summer, which can be as early as June, weather conditions pending. This patented variety brings the sensational advantage of flowering on both old wood and new growth which is something that had never been achieved before. So should you plant suffer from serious winter injury don’t worry – it will set flowers on new branches.
Pruning? Not needed, but if so wait patiently until new growths emerge. Then you know which parts are dead or dry so you can remove them about an inch above the live bud. In fact, cutting the emerging growth back to half before it starts to bloom will significantly increase the number of flower clusters. Deadheading (removing spent flowers) is a proven trick to support growing new flower buds. This hydrangea is a long-distance racer as it starts in June and continues until the last warm days of autumn, so altogether about 5 months.
The colour of the flowers is a hilarious bit really. Buy blue, get pink after a few months in your garden. Or the other way round. Getting upset? Oh come on, just teasing you! The mystery of the colour is nothing but the pH value of your soil. If you want bright pink flowers make sure your soil is alkaline. That means you have to use dolomitic lime several times year to reach pH 6.0-6.4. If it goes above that your plant may suffer from chlorosis. If you want clear sky-blue blossoms grow it in pure peat because blue colour needs acid soil. You could get a soil acidifier in your local garden centre and use it until you reach pH value 5.2-5.5.
Leaves are mid- to bright green, finely serrated and large. Its size is directly proportional to the amount of nutrients in the soil. The best breakdown is 10-40-10 for N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphor-kalium). So it is elementary to add phosphor-rich fertilizers for profuse flowering. More info at this x.
ENDLESS SUMMER® is truly a gift from heaven above as it allows everyone now to have and enjoy beautiful hydrangeas. Just plant it in humus-rich, always moist but well drained soil, preferably half-shade or filtered sun and provide a good x of mulch. As you can tell by its name it loves water so never let it dry out, especially the first year after planting. And now the best bit – the hardiness. This variety is hardy to USDA zone 4! That is down to -34°C. No winter protection needed.
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