Posts Tagged ‘damaged hydrangeas in New jersey’


Hydrangea. From Southernliving.com

Hydrangea. From Southernliving.com


By Miss Pegi.   (This piece was written in 2014, but Pegi’s  wise words are still true:)

I don’t think anyone really enjoyed this past winter. If possible we should leave it in the past and focus on the warm sun and the bursting forth of spring. However, it may not be possible when we have to look at the Hydrangeas. Winter slammed them hard. They are pitiful.

The snowball type and the lacecap type both come in many sizes and assorted colors. Some of the newer varieties are so dark pink they are almost red. Most Hydrangeas work well down the shore since they bloom in early summer to late summer and hold their flowers for a long time. This year??? Not so much.

The most common Hydrangeas bloom on last year’s growth. The way it works is this year’s green shoots make next year’s flowers. That is why you should never cut a hydrangea all the way down in the spring. It may look like dead sticks, but only the ones that made flowers last year are actually dead. The rest will sprout happy green buds and later make fabulous flowers. Once you see the green buds, prune the sticks that don’t have any.

Hydrangea in trouble. By Miss Pegi. May 2014. ©

Hydrangea in trouble. By Miss Pegi. May 2014. ©  Click left to enlarge.

The cold, cold weather along with ice and snow pruned everything. All over Ocean Grove (and the rest of the State) are brown crunchy sputnik-like plants with a crown of thick green leaves at the base. Luckily, the roots are tougher than the rest of the plant and just about every one will turn into a lovely green bush. Only newer varieties, such as the Endless Summer series, that have the ability to bloom later in the season on new growth will grace us with flowers this year. Also the PeeGee types, that are less common but only bloom on new growth should do fine. Strawberry Vanilla is a new PeeGee type. The blooms open white and turn pink as the season progresses. It also continues to make new flowers so you can have white, white and pink, and all pink clusters at the same time.

Damaged hydrangea properly pruned.

Damaged hydrangea properly pruned. By Miss Pegi. May, 2014. ©

So if you haven’t pruned your hydrangeas yet, you should get to it. Those ugly sticks will hang around forever and may stick out above the branches even as the green shoots take over. The plants will benefit from a shot of fertilizer and your forgiveness. They would bloom if they could. As a comfort to the disappointed, all those green shoots should make an amazing display next year!


Editor’s Note: Pegi Costantino is a gardening expert.  She has written books on the subject  and has had a radio show on Sunday mornings (8:00 am) for over 25 years. It is called “The Garden Show” on 1450 am WCTC.  She goes under the name of Pegi Ballister-Howells.

Pegi is also the founder of the new Woman’s Club of Ocean Grove. Check their Facebook page.

She has graciously agreed to write a series of short pieces addressing some of the challenges of gardening in Ocean Grove.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger


MARTY ROBBINS.   From the soundtrack of Scorcese’s The Irishman


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