Any Plant People??

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by countyroad1330, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. countyroad1330

    countyroad1330 Thunder Snow 2009!

    Oct 15, 2007
    Anyone know anything about blooming bushes? Our hydrangea bloomed beautifully last year, and this year grew much smaller and did not bloom. We didn't cut it back or anything.

    Also, we have a double ALTHEA that is WAY out of control. I've read alot saying that if we cut it back now, it will not bloom next season. Which is ok, but if we cut it to the ground, will it survive??

    Edited to say I meant Althea. I'm a moron. My Azalea is fine. Lol
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009

  2. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Quote:Depending on what kind of hydrangea you have, the buds may have gotten frozen over the last winter. Some hydrangeas bloom on old wood, and some bloom on new wood. If you have an old-wood-type, and if you have a cold winter, then the buds are at risk.

    As for the azalea, do NOT cut it back to the ground. You can shear it to shape, but as others have told you, you will be cutting off most of the buds for next spring if you do it now. It is best to wait until just after blooming in the spring, THEN prune it to the shape you want.
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I know I kill plants.
  4. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    I trim in the spring. It seems to work better for this climate. I trim my hydrangea bushes about a foot to a foot and a half off the ground. I get bigger blooms if I wait to trim until spring.

    I wouldn't trim anything shorter than that.
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    I had a hydrangea that I ended up having to pull out , including the ground around it as there was some kind of fungal attack... can't tell you more than that but it started out like you are describing... you might want to replace some of the ground it is in with a big bag of commercial soil especially for them.... cant hurt might help.
  6. louloubean

    louloubean Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    OC, NY
    you probably need to fertilize your hydrangea a little bit.

    prune the azalea after it blooms next spring. you'll all be much happier!

    if you prune now, the plant trys to grow faster, and all the new wood gets winter burnt. not pretty!
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Hydrangeas are extremely needy. In the winter, a lot of people cover the bushes with burlap (think wrapped up tightly, including the top). Flowers will only blossom on the old growth, if I recall correctly. If the buds get covered in ice and freeze during the winter, you won't have any flowers.

    My MIL grew hydrangeas for a few years and then ripped them out and replaced them with boxwoods because the hydrangeas were so much work year round... They need tons of water, special fertilizers, etc.

    You might want to check out our sister site,, for more info.

  8. countyroad1330

    countyroad1330 Thunder Snow 2009!

    Oct 15, 2007
    Thanks for the info everyone. I edited to correct it to Althea, NOT Azalea.

    Last year the Hydrangea actually did start showing some spots. The blooms were much smaller than the year before. I bought some anti-fungal spray that was for hydrangeas, but it didn't seem to really do anything.

    I believe it is a Mophead Hydrangea; it matches the pics on the internet anyway. It completely dissappears in the winter except the long sticks. Hubby thought he needed to cut them this year... So no blooms and a much smaller plant, but not completely sure why.
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Ahhhh. Well, it's nearly impossible to kill an Althea. [​IMG]

    For Altheas, prune in early spring as soon as the leaves start to appear. You can also completely remove the oldest canes, up to about 1/3 of the total plant. Have fun!
  10. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I can mamnage it [​IMG]
    worse part is I love the Althea's I just cant manage to keep them alive, even the ones hardy for zone 5.

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