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About Hydrangeas in the Kingston Ontario Region


Why my Hydrangea Bloom will not Bloom


            This is about the colourful pom-pom type Hydrangeas often sold at Easter and in chain stores. Hydrangea paniculata types such as PG, Limelight, Tardiva and so many more as well as Hydrangea quercifolia and Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle are a different case and are showcased below. Some exceptions do occur.


            The lovely blue and pink large flowers, seeing them when travelling and falling in love, having them offered at your local chain store, receiving them as Mothers Day gifts. All of the above make Hydrangea macrophylla varieties seem wonderful. The truth is though that most of these plants will live for a long time, they just will not bloom again or if they do the blooms are small.

The macrophylla type of Hydrangeas such as Nikko Blue, Glowing Embers and even the Cityline varieties all have the same issues. The big showy flowers come on second year growth. That means the flower is formed from the end of the branch. This can be a problem if; there is not much snow cover, plants get cut to the ground in spring or winter winds dry the tips of the first year growth. Unfortunately, Kingston and nearby areas are prone to winter thaws and not much snow cover, as well as biting cold winds. Zone is not really a good indication for the hardiness. Gardeners in the colder but much snowier regions such as the Laurentians or North Bay can often grow tender Hydrangeas as they have reliable snow cover covering the ends of the branches for the coldest months.

Lack of snow cover aside; many perfectly happy Hydrangeas get cut to the ground either in late fall or early spring by unknowing maintenance people. Ideally the tender Hydrangeas should be left uncut until live growth is seen. This can sometimes be delayed until mid or even late May making them unsightly and again, prone to being cut down. They regrow from the roots, setting out new branches in the hopes of blooming next year only to continue the cycle.


For excellent bloom we recommend the Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle, the classic white pom-pom type grown for centuries. H. arborescens is native to moist locations from New York to Florida and west to Iowa. Annabelle is reliable, sterile with a much larger flower and was found wild in Anna Illinois. It will thrive in almost any location but especially good to fill space in a moist shaded location. It can be pruned back hard in winter or spring and responds well to a 2 year pruning program where old canes are cut out every spring.

The Hydrangea paniculata group give wonderful white to pink flowers in late summer and into fall. They flower on new wood and so survive our winters without difficulty. The H. paniculata were first brought to the western world in the early 1800s from China and northern Japan. The grandiflora variety (often called Peegee) was introduced in the 1860s. In recent times the cultivars available have exploded in number. We carry several varieties each year in both shrub and tree form.

Made in the Shade Perennials
3626 Hwy 2 RR 3 (4.5 km east of Joyceville Rd.)   Gananoque,  Ontario    K7G 2V5
Phone: (613) 382-8251      eMail: