Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Purple Lacecap Hydrangea

Although everything is pretty thristy right about now (our area of the upper midwest is dry, dry, dry), the mild winter and early spring were to a few plants liking.  Never before have the hydrangeas looked so good.  And take if from the Phactor, this is unusual.  Hydrangeas don't like it here very much; our soil is too heavy and not acid enough, and our summers are too hot and dry.  The hot dry part has just arrived with June, about a month early, but until now the hydrangeas have just been great.  Several 'Endless Summer' hydrangeas clustered in the front garden have been stopping traffic of all sorts.  Even a snowbell hydrangea that got eaten off by rabbits over the winter has produced a big display.  Here's one of the less gaudy ones, a purple lacecap (Hydrangea serrata 'bluebird') and it's never looked like anything before, so it was on the short list of perform or get replaced.  This year will get it a reprieve although not a pardon. In this area hydrangeas tend to the pink end of the spectrum (high pH), but application of fertilizer for acid-loving plants has shifted flower colors to blue, so they are looking pretty good for this reason too.

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