Endless Summer Hydrangea Diary

October 25th, 2008

I love my Endless Summer Hydrangeas, I’ve blogged about them before (See related posts below) and I’ve got… about 10 of them I guess. I’ve also given them as gifts.

I love the big bright blue, pink, and purple flowers of big mophead hydrangeas, they really brighten up shady spots, they’re some of my favorites. But here in zone 5, most varieties just do not bloom. They can’t make it through the winter and then don’t have any blooms on current year’s growth.

Endless Summer is different it can make it through the winter, and does bloom on both new and old wood. Excellent, I love it. Yet, some people do not. After reading posts such as this one I thought that I should do a diary to show just how well mine perform.

So I took pictures, every week or two, all year. Now, let me start out by saying, we had a very cold spring and some late frosts, so it got off to a slower start this year.

May 1st, the first picture. Later than normal with the cold weather.

May 12th, growing good.

May 26th, getting bigger, you can see the first of the flower buds.

June 1st, freak late frost, pushing things back again, flowers will be later this year.

June 17th, the smaller ones on the left are just about blooming, the bigger ones on the right still building on greenery.

June 22nd, the first bloom, pink, on the far left.

June 30th, now some blue blooms on the left, and the big one is about to bloom.

July 6, big one is blooming.

July 22nd, very bloomy.

August 17th, older blooms are fading, new wave starting (this year’s wood).

Sept 17th, notice the old blooms turning a dark red – this adds additional interest that I really like.

Oct 15th, still blooming, and check out the deep red spent blossoms.

Then it was killed last night, Oct 24th, in a hard freeze.

So, we had blooms from June 22nd to Oct 24th and this was a very late starting year. Usually it’ll be blooming by early June. I really like how even the old flowers still look like flowers because they redden. Some of my blossoms were blue, some pink. My soil naturally produces pink blooms but I try to change them every once in awhile (with obviously mixed results).

I do protect these during winter. I put a fence around them, like a coil, and then loose fill it with leaves, as much for the rabbits as the cold.

So there you go, big blooms for four months. I like it. I recommend it. To view all the pictures I took of it this year go here.

15 Responses to “Endless Summer Hydrangea Diary”

  1. tina  Says:

    I agree, these Endless Summers are GREAT! The sister plant ‘Blushing Bride’ are also very good plants. They tend to get more pinkish than Endless Summer. Great array of photos!

  2. James Mann  Says:

    I like what you did with this post, it really give me an idea of how a Hydrangea grows.

    We are still learning but I think that next year I will add a Hydrangea or two to our flower gardens.

    I think I will start a diary of the flowers we have in our yard. It’s the perfect way to remember what they did all summer long.


  3. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening  Says:

    Your post inspired me to go through my photos to see how far along my ‘Endless Summer’ was compared to yours. Here are my findings.

  4. dlyn  Says:

    I love mine when it actually blooms and it is worth keeping around for the years when it does well. This year, I fertilized it wrong because it got very tall and lush, but only two flower heads, and those very late in the year. Do you fertilize yours and if so, what do you use?

  5. Abby Lanes  Says:

    That is a fantastic idea! Lovely hydrangeas.

  6. obland  Says:

    I seem to have pretty good luck with these year after year.

  7. justaguy  Says:

    Spring is nearly here…I will be using some hear in the next week. People are always concerned that they arent much to look at when first planted.
    By summer different opinion.

  8. JP  Says:

    The landscapers are here today for our spring clean up…
    We have hydrangeas along our back fence and I wanted to plant something in front of them…. what do you recommend???

  9. Administrator  Says:

    a type of heucherella (or smaller heuchera variety) with contrasting foliage would be a nice low hedge infront of the hydrangeas. They also have similar light and watering requirements (moist, shade)

    Wayside Gardens:


    Sells quite a few.

  10. lacey  Says:

    I was considering getting a few of these. I’m wondering when is the best time to plant? How well will they really do in northern Il, zone 5? Will appreciate any comments.

  11. Administrator  Says:

    You’re south of me Lacey, so they should perform better for you than for me even.

    Plant at any time, but if you’re planting in the heat or summer in a sunnier location, water well for a week after planting. They really do get thirsty.

  12. Denise  Says:

    Thank you so much for showing the growth process. I’ve searched all over the net, so that I could get some idea of how soon I should expect buds to grow. I am a new gardner, and live in zone 5 where Hydrandeas are said to be a challenge. It’s 6/1/09 and my hydrangea looks like the 5/26 picture. I purchased a small plant at a garden center, and let it sit for about a week in my kitchen with a florescent light (had no energy to dig and plant). It has been very cold lately, but my neighbors hydrangeas are blooming. I now wait with expectation for it to look like the 6/17 picture. Thanks again for taking the time to do this, I am less worried that maybe I got a dud.

  13. Debi  Says:

    can you recommend something to plant around the ES? not to big that it would block sun, or seeing the plants from the street? i learned a lot from your posts. This will be the first time i am planting them. Any other suggestions will be most appreciated.

    Thank You

  14. Administrator  Says:

    They really get full, two feet a part will do a solid hedge, so you can’t plant anything between them (except maybe tulips) or behind (assuming they’re along a building or fence or something).

    In front of though, something low, that doesn’t mind shade (they like shade remember). Any ground cover, creeping phlox for instance. Smaller heucheras/heucherellas. Dwarf varieties of daylily. If the spot does get sun you could do any type of annual flower (marigold, begonia, petunia). If you want to eat, lettuce, ornamental or edible kale, or spinach. Strawberries (if it gets sun). Blanket flower (again, if the spot gets sun). Dwarf or smaller hostas (shade) don’t buy one that is merely small now, make sure it stays small. Pincushion flower if it gets sun.

    My first choice would be dark heucherellas or small heucheras. Some heucheras can take sun, others prefer shade. But they’re pretty flexible. Just get smaller varieties.

    A dwarf form of rudbeckia or another yellow flowering perennial might work too (yellow to go with the blue or punk blooms of the hydrangea) – in full sun only.

  15. Annette  Says:

    Thanks for this terrific post. I just had some endless summer put in and had no idea what to expect. I live in Michigan and they are just starting to come up (we had a warm spring). Thanks to your photos I see that mine are doing well. I was wondering when you felt it was OK to trim off the dead parts? Looks like sometime in mid-May.

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