A couple of questions

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Appleblossom31, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Appleblossom31

    Appleblossom31 Gardener

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    Hi fellow gardeners

    Your advice is much needed. I Have 2 hydrangea, they have never looked fantastic after I planted them. They now look like pix( 1&2.) The petals withered almost immediately, but they have new growth now. Am I caring for these correctly? Any advise welcome.
    Next question, when is the best time of year to move plants from ground to pots?My pots near my front and back door are full of annuals, now Ive established some perennial I was thinking of saving money and using what I already have and adding pots to area on pix 5.
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    So, I was thinking of dividing up a bleeding heart (pix 4) which has got big and potting some of it to go outside my back door, the plant (pix 4) and hydrangeas in pix (2). Would this be a good idea? If so when is the best time to do it.
    Many thanks for advice in advance.
     
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      Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    • Cordy

      Cordy Gardener

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      Hi @Appleblossom31
      Your Hydrangeas do look unhealthy
      Is that limestone in the border ?
      Hydrangeas are known Limestone haters
      Nice fence btw
      0001.jpg
       
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      • Appleblossom31

        Appleblossom31 Gardener

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        Thanks for the info Cordy. I have no idea whether there is limestone in the soil??.I dont know what it looks like. Should I replant in pots with fresh compost/soil then? If so when?.
        The fence was a gift from my next-door neighbour. She chose a good one didnt she!?! Lol.
         
      • Cordy

        Cordy Gardener

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        • Palustris

          Palustris Total Gardener

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          Main problem with those is lack of water. They are a moisture loving, dappled shade plant.
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            Don't disturb them, just make sure you feed and water well next summer.
            It looks like they have bark as a top dressing which is fine.
            Get some new plants for your containers, and don't go digging these up. :smile:
             
          • luis_pr

            luis_pr Gardener

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            Hello, Appleblossom31. Nice fence; I agree too. Actually, at this moment, the plants look just fine to me. The leaves are dark green so there are no acidity issues so far. Then again, the plants' roots are mostly/still in the potting mix and have not ventured too much into the garden soil to be affected by soil pH differences. There is one recently opened (green) bloom and a slightly older one (pink); the other blooms are older and changing colors. There are broccoli heads in a few places, which is great! The blooms should fade and end up feeling papery and looking brown when the color changes end.

            The concern with the limestone is valid though. Some cemented surfaces and rocks will leach lime, which makes the soil more alkaline and hydrangeas will tolerate this up to a point. You can monitor soil acidity using a soil pH kit or by looking for signs of iron chlorosis on plant leaves. When they are uncomfortable with high alkaline soil pH levels, the leaves will turn light green/yellow/white except for the leaf veins... which will remain dark green. This is usually called iron chlorosis. At this point, it is best to acidify the soil with either aluminum sulfate, garden sulfur, greensand or iron-chelated liquids. The liquids correct these leaf symptoms slightly faster than granular amendments but liquids have to be re-applied more often; both are slow to darken the leaves to dark green (takes a few weeks). If you ever have to amend the soil, plan on doing that on a regular basis per label directions forever because, if you quit for a long enough time, the soil will revert back.

            The blooms should go through a plethora of color changes that varies from one type of hydrangea to another type; or from one variety of hydrangea to another variety. Just one example: the blooms may open pink; after sometime, the pink blooms start to turn green; then after sometime, they add some pink/red/purple splotches; then after some more time, the blooms turn sandy colors and end by browning.

            Typical requirements for hydrangea macrophyllas (macrophylla is the type of hydrangea in your pictures) - planting location: not windy, with either morning sun only (until 10-11am) or dappled sun; maintain the soil as evenly moist as you can; maintain 5-10cms of organic mulch (no rocks) around the shrubs at all times of the year; fertilize (organic compost, composted manure or cottonseed meal; or use a general purpose, slow release, chemical fertilizer with a NPK Ratio of around 10-10-10 once in the Spring) until they are well established and then let them feed off the decomposing mulch (provided your soil does not have mineral deficiencies like many sandy soils have); the soil should be well draining and acidic (but will tolerate some alkalinity); amend the soil regularly if the plants show signs of iron chlorosis; water the soil but never water the leaves in order to minimize the chances of getting leaf fungal infections. If you insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 10-20cms and the soil feels dry or almost dry then water the plant with enough water to get the soil moist down to a depth of 40cms. Hydrangea roots are tiny, shallow, fibrous and grow only down to a depth of approximately 10cms, so keep the top soil moist with mulch and be careful when walking around those plants' roots.

            Picture 1: one recently opened bloom on the left side; several tiny broccoli heads throughout (that is what the flower buds look like when they begin to open); one bloom still bright pink; the rest of the blooms are spent and doing their color change thing (should be turning brown "soon"). The leaves appear fine and dark green. Needs organic mulch (no rocks). The plant may be "too close" to bricks that leach lime. I could not see the stems due to the dense foliage.

            Picture 2: only one bright pink bloom still left, in the top center; most blooms are in the green color phase, maybe starting to turn a little sandy colors; some leaf damage but not sure why... maybe mechanical damage or insects/pests. This late in the season when the growing season is at a close, I would not worry much about that. Needs organic mulch (no rocks). I could not see the stems due to the dense foliage.

            Picture 3: same as picture 1

            Plants will be less stressed after a transplant when you move them while they are dormant or semi-dormant. Bleeding hearts can be moved in the fall after the plants go dormant. Choose the location based on how big/wide the plants can get and based on how big/wide nearby plants will get. Some hydrangea macrophyllas can get 1.5 meters wide or more; check the plant label of your hydrangeas for estimates of plant size at maturity. Bleeding hearts require loose soil for their tender roots to grow. Tilling the soil to a depth of 20-25cms and removing rocks, roots and other debris prepares the bed for growing bleeding hearts.

            All of my hydrangea blooms have already turned brown down here. The further south one is located, the earlier the blooms brown out here in the US. The macrophylla leaves will start to brown out and "disintegrate" in October-November, except for the oakleaf hydrangeas which usually start a very nice foliage show (reds, oranges, yellows, purples, browns) in November or December. Some of the oakleaf hydrangea leaves will disintegrate in December-January but, there are several oakleaf plants whose leaves nowadays will remain with those foliage colors until leaf out time in 2021. They did not use to do that; I am not sure if there is a micro-climate causing it or global warming or what.

            Does that help you, Appleblossom31?
            Luis
             
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            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Total Gardener

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              Very nicely covered Luis.
               
            • Appleblossom31

              Appleblossom31 Gardener

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              Just what I was needing luis, as Im a complete novice. Big big thanks!
               
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