Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 28

GEORGIA Gardens

By Helen Newling Lawson

Growing hydrangeas

H

ydrangeas are a staple of the summer garden. Their
gorgeous blooms and low-fuss care make it easy to
love them. But nostalgia may also play a role in their

appeal.
Ryan McEnaney is a member of the Bailey family that owns
Minnesota-based Bailey Nurseries, which brought us "Endless
Summer" hydrangeas. He thinks hydrangeas are popular partly
because "they help people reminisce."
Elizabeth Dean of Wilkerson Mill Gardens, a specialty
hydrangea nursery in southern Fulton County, thinks the ease
with which they can be rooted and shared helps to strengthen
the bond we feel with hydrangeas.
"You can grow the same plant that Aunt Sally
had in her garden," she says.

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Nurserywoman Elizabeth Dean thinks we also love hydrangeas because they provide beauty when we least want to work in the garden.
"That show of blooms when it's hot and buggy-you get a lot back
without a lot of effort," she says.
When choosing where to plant your hydrangea, look for a spot
where it will get some afternoon shade. Morning sun can help prevent
diseases that come with wet leaves and can give your shrub enough
energy to bloom.
Start by planting your hydrangea in soil with plenty of organic
matter. Follow with a layer of mulch to help conserve soil moisture. Bigleaf
hydrangeas are especially prone to wilting, but it may be a sign that they are
overheated, not thirsty. Overwatering can lead to problems such as root rot.

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Georgia Magazine

August 2019

/ BRY

The mophead type of
H. macrophylla is the most
popular hydrangea variety.

distinctive leaf shape.
And if you think all hydrangeas are shrubs, check
out climbing hydrangeas, Hydrangea petiolaris. These
vines grow to immense heights and sport lacy flower
clusters.

Old vs. new
The terms "old wood" and "new wood" refer to
when the particular variety's flower buds are formed.
Old-wood species, like the bigleaf hydrangeas,
form their flower buds on growth from the previous year. Panicle, smooth and oakleaf hydrangeas all
bloom on new wood. On these plants, the buds are
formed on growth during the spring of the same year
and typically open later in the summer.
The difference between old wood and new wood
is important when deciding when or if to prune.

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Tips for success

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Dean says that when people think
of hydrangeas, "most often it's the ones
Grandmama had-the big, blue
mopheads."
She's referring to one flower form
of the group called bigleaf hydrangeas,
Hydrangea macrophylla. But there
are many other hydrangea species.
For blooms that are even bigger than
mopheads, try the smooth hydrangea,
Hydrangea arborenscens. Cultivar names like
'Incrediball' hint at the size of their showy flowers.
If you think your yard is too sunny for hydrangeas, try
the sun-loving panicle hydrangeas, Hydrangea paniculata,
sometimes called peegee hydrangeas.
Have a wooded area? Try oakleaf hydrangeas, Hydrangea
quercifolia, a native variety with long flowerheads and a

TTA

More than mopheads



Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 10
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Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 28
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Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover4
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