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Hydrangea Plants

Q.My Summer Crush Hydrangea Started Turning Green In Early June Unlike A Non-reblooming Plant That Started Changing In Fall.

Zone 60914 | hnargang added on July 16, 2022 | Answered

I am very disappointed with this plant I planted this year. I expected beautiful pink flowers till Fall. It has healthy green leaves. It is not diseased. I read that I should dead-head the flowers for reblooming. It has 18 flowers. Do I cut off all flowers big and small down to the 1st double leaf set? Two of the stems only have single leaves. Do the new stems have buds for next year? I hope you can advise me. I live in zone 5-5b. Thank you. P.S.:I had to plant it where it gets mostly dappled sun but three hours of steady sun in the afternoon 3:30-6:30.

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Answered on July 16, 2022

Blooms do not stay the same original color that they had when the flower bud opened for long periods of time. As they age, they change colors. Roses do the same thing although rose blooms age much, much faster. Hydrangea macrophyllas have blooms that remain attached for almost a year. The flower may start pink and continue changing colors until almost the fall when the color ends brown. As the hydrangea blooms age, they begin a plethora of color changes that vary based on the type of hydrangea and the cultivar. Each stage of color lasts a variable amount of time that depends on many things such as direct sunlight exposure, lack of water, weather, nutrients. For example, the more direct sun that hydrangea blooms get, the faster that they can change their colors. But do not expect each stage of color to last unchanged for -say- a year; rather a month (more or less). An example of the color progression may look like this: the blooms open pink; the pink color begins to fade; the blooms turn green; the blooms add pink splotches; the blooms add burgundy splotches; the blooms turn brown. Once they turn brown, that is it and you have a choice: (1) keep them longer for winter interest and they will either fall down on their own in about a year or you can deadhead them much later o; or (2) deadhead them when green or when brown or at any time of your personal choice. Hydrangeas like Summer Crush will begin to develop new flower buds for spring 2023 once the current flush of blooms stops opening new flower buds so be careful with pruning; deadhead only by either (a) cutting off the blooms at the first pair of leaves or (b) cut the peduncle, the string that attaches the bloom to the stem. Flower buds develop inside the ends of the stems some time after the plant stops opening more blooms in each flush of blooms. The first flush of spring 2023 blooms will be originate from flower buds developed in late 2022. The late summer/fall and second flush of blooms will originate from stems that start growing in 2023 (these will bloom if the stem is able to get tall and old enough quickly in order to open flower buds by late summer or fall). Note that on year one, times may be off because the wholesaler made the plant develop blooms early in order for the plant to arrive blooming at the plant nursery. In year two, blooms will start to open later and your color changes will occur later. Deadheading hydrangea blooms will never produce a second bloom from the same stem/branch; you only get one bloom per growing season. They are not rebloomers; they are remontant but the industry advertises using the term "rebloomer" in their ads/websites.

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