hydrangea blooms sagging

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  #1  
Old 06-19-10, 07:46 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
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hydrangea blooms sagging

I moved into a house recently with some hydrangeas. They have big beautiful blooms on them. The blooms are so big that in some cases the limbs can't support their weight.





Is this normal? Do I need to tie the sagging branches up? Do I need to prune the branches shorter so they can support the weight of the blooms better? This appears to be a healthy shrub. The leaves are perfect and full of color.

Also, some of the branches are smooth (green or tan) while some of them look more aged like the ones below. Is this normal?



 
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  #2  
Old 08-27-10, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: isa
Posts: 4
hydrangeas

yours are gorgeous. the green stems are new, the gray ones are old. the blooms are perfect. if you want them off the ground, surround them with an unobtrusive wire fencing before they bloom next year, but right now, enjoy them.
 
  #3  
Old 08-27-10, 06:43 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 376
Nice looking !

Youíve pretty much identified your options. If the drooping ones are bothersome, you can use green tie tape for those branches unable to support the weight of the flower (mainly when wet). The green tape is readily available at garden center stores, and presumably at the big box ones. While a bit tricky at first, itís better to tie a loop rather than cinching it down on branch so it has room to grow (girdling is term used when a branch/trunk is damaged and weakened by someone tying a wire or rope around them, and it becomes tight). Eventually, cut the tie tape off when branch can support the weight.

Pruning would offer a better solution longer term. This will help strengthen branches and, if done properly, enhance more flowering. For example, in 3rd pic from top, the branch heading down to the ground could be removed, and doing this for this entire plant will open it up a bit. It will also promote better air circulation which helps to reduce possible plant diseases.

Generally speaking, itís best to prune well in advance of when a flowering tree or shrub is expected to flower . . . otherwise, cutting back shoot growth will cause the removal of the flowering buds meaning less blossoms during the next flowering cycle. For many flowering species, early spring is fine for those not flowering until late spring or later in the year. With some species such as Hydrangea, which can produce flowers from early spring to late autumn (cycle varies somewhat by particular species), a better strategy is to prune in late autumn if wanting to maximize flowers the following year. With 70+ species, and variations within species, Iím not sure what you have . . . suspect itís Hydrangea macrophylla mainly because itís more common in landscapes Google Image Result for http://www.floralimages.co.uk/images/hydrangea_macrophylla_18d.jpg. From the stand point of pruning, itís not important spending time trying to ID a species precisely. Making a mental note of when it starts to produce flowers will reveal whether itís an early bloomer or not. If its Hydrangea macrophylla, thatís an early spring bloomer, and should be pruned in late autumn.

The other issue to consider is temperature and humidity for a given area. Itís best not to prune 6-8 weeks before frost or freezing temps arrive as those conditions may kill off or knock back new shoot growth. So working back 6-8 weeks from when those risks become probable, you would arrive at an optimum time to prune the plant assuming itís an early spring bloomer. Depending upon your local climate, this may interfere when the latter bloom period occurs and a tradeoff decision may need to be made between sacrificing some blooms this year in order to maximize nextís yrs. Sometimes, Iíll prune back some in late autumn, and prune other shoots in early spring . . . it doesnít have to be done all at once, and if doing heavy pruning, itís usually safer not to take out more than a 1/3 of a plant or tree at any one time.

Have fun gardening :HF2:!
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-10, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 214
hydrangea

I say enjoy the beautiful blooms and plan for some pruning next year to control the growth a little. Also, depending on your zone, you might need to protect them to ensure the next year's blooms don't get ruined by the winter-- happened to me this year in Chicago.
 
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