I planted a hydrangea for its leaves not its blooms!

2014-08-29 10.21.07

Taken 8/29/2014. The recovery was all summer since it suffered this past winter

Can you believe that someone would plant a hydrangea for its leaves and not its blooms?

I did and I want more!

Close up-the colors of the leaves are just stunning from a distance and close up

The leaves are just stunning from a distance (and close up)

I snagged this beauty a couple years ago at Lowe’s. Yep, you heard me right, Lowe’s.

Until this year, Lowe’s would get in basic annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees and rarely would something so unique and lovely arrive out in the garden center. When I saw this beauty with its variegated leaves I knew I had to have it. I did not care how much it was {even though I am the clearance rack queen}. These were a hit at Lowe’s because the next day, when I went back to buy more , they were sold out! I was saddened that I did not just “go for it” and spend the $16.99 twice more for this beautiful plant.

Thank goodness Hydrangeas are easily propagated and so my task has been to use my coat hanger method and wait until next spring where I will have more of these variegated beauties in the front bed. The past winter was hard on this beauty, and even though she did not bloom this year, I am quite happy with the variegation of the leaves against the green of the arborvitae and the row of hollies in the background.

old photos 2172

Bloomed 2013 and will bloom in July and the blooms generally last about 2 months

Lemon Wave Hydrangea is for all of us lucky gardeners in zones 6-9. I find that this beauty prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. It, like most hydrangeas, requires lots of moisture. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, this would grow in full sun with adequate watering {but I find that by noon this beauty is wilting until the sun goes behind the house in the afternoon wherein she perks right back up}. This is a big leaved hydrangea that blooms on old wood. I do not prune (unless the thing is dead) so my lack of blooms was from the 9 degree lows we had for a month this winter. Pruning a hydrangea to me is unnecessary unless the branch is dead. I want my garden to be full and carefree.

The tag stated when I bought this beauty (and so does the Missouri Botanical Gardens) that this will reach 3-6′ tall and wide at maturity. This does not mean anything to me- I find tags are just a guideline and in higher zones the tag usually is off by at least a foot if not 3. Believe me after 11 years in zone 7b, I have moved many things that grew twice as large in my previous zone 5.

Thinking that this hydrangea will grow very large, I have this planted it in front of a Dark Green Arborvitae on the corner of the house. I will be thrilled if it grows to 6′ or more- I let most of my plants grow as big as they want!

Taken 2013

Taken 2013

Hydrangeas are really a very easy to grow plant when, and this is from my experience, you find a spot that they love. Otherwise, you may just get a bunch of green plants with no blooms. I have more than a dozen hydrangeas planted in various locations. Many are in my front bed mixed in with the perennials. I have different varieties and think that after this dry summer here in VA I will be moving some of them to a better location. Hydrangeas require moisture and they will tolerate red clay soil. I keep the hydrangeas (and most of my beds) mulched and watered regularly and try to make sure not to over water. My soil is amended naturally by keeping 4″ of mulch in the existing beds. I do fertilize and at least twice a year I use my Fish Fertilizer on my potted plants and prized perennials in the ground.I hope one day again that Lowe’s, since they now carry Monrovia, will get in more unique and beautiful plants that will grow under my mighty Oaks. So sometimes adding a plant for its foliage can be just as rewarding as adding one for its blooms!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2014/2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller

Here is the link to read a bit more on the Lemon Wave

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=z440

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