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Hydrangeas in Containers

June 13th, 2018

Around here, the deer mow down the hydrangeas to nubs every winter. Which means they have to come up from the roots and often don’t bloom. If they do, they only have one or two blossoms. Last fall, I dug up two of my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas to see how well they would do in containers. After overwintering them in the basement, I moved them out and BAM – they’re blooming already.

Since this worked so well, I have four or five other hydrangeas that I plan on digging up and keeping in containers. I’ll most likely place them on pavers in the perennial borders during the summer and fall.

They’re a little leggy and I’ve been considering planting something underneath them to fill out the container, but they’re most likely that way from being weak last year before I transplanted them. I’m thinking that this fall I’ll cut them back hard and let them grow up from the roots next year. They’ll be shorter, but should have larger blooms. This is all a grand experiment and I already am enjoying more blooms on them than I have seen in the past 5 years.

What measures have you taken in the past to ensure blooms from favorite plants?

Potted Hydrangeas

May 21st, 2018

Last summer, I dug up two ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas from one of my perennial borders. They didn’t bloom very well, I think perhaps the winters are a bit too cold for them. The local deer also find them very tasty and nibble them down in the winter.

After transplanting them to large terra-cotta pots, they lagged for a bit but then started to perk back up. I rolled them into the basement for the winter, then wheeled them back out a month or 6 weeks ago. They had already started to set blooms in the basement.

The foliage got a little sunburnt after I moved it out, I should have moved them outside a few weeks earlier. With our late spring, I didn’t want to risk them being damaged by frost (or the containers either). When they put up new shoots, that will help them fill in and cover up any of the crispy leaves. This summer they should fill in nicely.

This past weekend, I moved them to their spots flanking the front door. They seem to be thriving in their containers and with their warmer, cozier winter digs. I’m hoping for a huge flush of beautiful blooms this summer and lovely fall color.

Do you overwinter any plants in the basement? Do you grow things in containers to protect them from cold or nibbling animals?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.