Espoma’s Total Guide to Growing Hydrangea’s

Find everything you need to know about growing hydrangeas below!

Choose the right Hydrangea for you – Growing hydrangeas is easy! Simply answer these questions to find a hydrangea variety that will thrive in your garden.

Best Hydrangeas for Beginners to Grow – Oakleaf hydrangeas can tolerate colder weather, handle more sun, withstand drought, are more disease/pest resistant and grow in sandy soil better than other hydrangeas.

Best Hydrangeas to Grow in Full Sun – Most hydrangeas prefer only morning sun. Yet one type of hydrangea can soak up the sun all day: the panicle hydrangea.

Hydrangeas that Bloom All Summer – Reblooming hydrangeas flower on both new and old growth, meaning you can enjoy flowers from June until the first frost. They’ll continue to bloom long after other flowering shrubs and perennials have stopped.

How to Get the Best Hydrangea Blooms – Getting off to the right start in the right location is the difference between a hydrangea bush that blooms for years and one that never does.

Growing Hydrangeas in Containers – No matter how much space you have, find the perfect-sized hydrangea for you. You can even grow hydrangeas in a container.

The Best Way to Plant Hydrangeas  – Hydrangeas are like the little black dress of the garden. They’re chic and always in style. Though, hydrangeas will deliver way more wow with their color-changing flowers.

How to Prune Hydrangeas – Before you prune hydrangeas, you need to know which type you have. Take this quiz to find out what type of hydrangea you have and when to prune.

Pink or blue – Create a blue hydrangea simply by amending the soil. Most hydrangeas, except white ones, change color based on the pH or acidity levels of their soil.

When to fertilize your hydrangea – Knowing whether your soil is acidic or not is the first step to healthier plants season after season.

Nix Hydrangea Problems – From spots to foliage holes, find out what’s up with your hydrangea.

Keep Pests and Diseases Away from Hydrangeas – Hydrangeas are generally pest and disease free, but when your flowers are looking less than stunning, it’s hard not to panic.

Tips for Transplanting Hydrangeas – Change the look of your yard by giving your hydrangeas more space to grow with these steps.

Hydrangea Hype: Garden Inspiration – With big colorful blooms and beautiful green foliage, summer’s favorite flower makes a bold statement in any garden.

Guide to Fall Hydrangea Care – Hydrangeas are strong and can come back from almost anything when given enough time and proper care.

Companion Plants for Hydrangeas – If you’re looking for ways to make your hydrangeas pop even more, try these companion planting tips.

More is More: Hydrangeas that Bloom All Summer

Once upon a time, hydrangeas would only bloom once a season. Not anymore! Now, you can choose a variety of hydrangeas that bloom all summer long. You can even prune these at any time.

Reblooming hydrangeas flower on both new and old growth, meaning you can enjoy flowers from June until the first frost. They’ll continue to bloom long after other flowering shrubs and perennials have stopped. Long lasting blooms of blue, violet, pink, white, or chartreuse add brilliant pops of color to any garden.

Plus, these hydrangeas perform a magic trick. Depending on your soil’s acidity, the hydrangea color changes. Creating breathtaking blue hydrangeas is extremely easy. All you need to do is amend your soil with Espoma’s Organic Soil Acidifier. 

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Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries

The Original Endless Summer Hydrangea – A beautiful game changer! The Original Endless Summer hydrangea was the first non-stop blooming hydrangea. Plus, it’s easy to care for. You’ll be wowed by its color-changing blooms all season.

Hydrangea Type: Mophead

Shrub Type: Deciduous

Light: Part sun-mostly shade

Size: 3-5’ H x 3-5’ W

Zone: 4-9

Blooms: Late-spring-early fall. Blooms can be blue, purple or pink based on soil pH.

Features:

    • Blooms all season
    • Very disease tolerant
    • Easy care
    • Works in container gardens

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil. 5.5 or lower soil pH for blue blooms. 5.5-6.5 soil pH for purple blooms. 6.5 soil pH or higher for pink blooms.

 

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Photo courtesy of Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

Penny Mac Hydrangea – Large flowers that just keep blooming! The Penny Mac hydrangea is super easy to care for and seems to thrive on neglect. While the blooms can change color, they’re naturally a vivid blue.

Hydrangea Type: Mophead

Shrub Type: Deciduous

Light: Part sun

Size: 4-6’ H x 3-4’ W

Zone: 5-8

Blooms: Mid-summer-early fall. Blooms are typically blue, but can be changed to pink or purple based on soil pH.

Features:

  • Attracts birds
  • Repeat bloomer
  • Fast growing
  • Easy care

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil. 5.5 or lower soil pH for blue blooms. 5.5-6.5 soil pH for purple blooms. 6.5 soil pH or higher for pink blooms.

hydrangea care, hydrangea color, growing hydrangas

Let’s Dance Starlight Hydrangea – You’ll feel like dancing when you see this breath-taking bloom. It’s elegant, bright and beautiful textured. Plus, it’s the first-ever, re-blooming lacecap hydrangea.

Hydrangea Type: Bigleaf

Shrub Type: Deciduous

Light: Full-part sun

Size: 2-3’ H x 2-3’ W

Zone: 5-9

Blooms: Mid-summer-early fall. Vivid, lacecap blooms can be blue, purple or pink based on soil pH.

Features:

  • Small hydrangea
  • Repeat bloomer
  • Works in container gardens
  • Salt tolerant

Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soil. 5.5 or lower soil pH for blue blooms. 5.5-6.5 soil pH for purple blooms. 6.5 soil pH or higher for pink blooms.

Keep the blooms coming all season long with the hydrangea that speaks to you! Want one that grows in full sun? Learn about the best hydrangeas for beginners. Find out even more about hydrangea care in our Ultimate Hydrangea Guide

The Grass is Always Greener with Lawn Starter

The big reveal. The snow melts, and your grass emerges. But wait a second… are those bare spots?

If you need to repair your lawn this season with seed, early spring is best! Later on, lawn seed won’t survive the summer heat – and you won’t survive that water bill! If you can, wait until fall to seed. That’s when the soil, temperature and sunlight are just right for lawn seed.

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Update old grass and worn-out lawns by reseeding and then encourage strong root systems by feeding it. It’s an easy and quick way to give your lawn the update it needs without starting from scratch.

Can’t bear to stare at those patchy brown spots any longer? Here’s how to reseed successfully in spring.

Hit the Lawn Seed Sweet Spot: Start Seeds with Organic Lawn Starter

 Order Organic. Help lawn seed take root by applying an organic fertilizer made specifically for lawn seed and sod. This used to be impossible to find, but you asked, and we delivered! We made the first and only organic lawn starter. Now you and your pets are free to roam, play and enjoy your Safe Paws lawn. Together, we can keep pets safe with organic lawn care from start to finish.

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Know How to Mow. If overseeding an established lawn, mow grass to at least 3”. This helps grass to develop strong roots.

Smart Seed Start. After you’ve spread lawn seed or sod, apply organic lawn starter. This helps your lawn seed establish faster and grow stronger roots. The secret is in our Organic Lawn Starter’s powerful Bio-tone microbes. Yes, the same Bio-tone you use to strengthen new plants!

The New Rule. Lightly water new grass seed or sod frequently until you’ve mowed it twice. After that, give your lawn 1” of water a week.

Patchy spots be gone. Go on, green lawn it’s your time to shine! And we’ll be here to share more lawn care tips for your new, fabulous organic lawn.   

Paw-lease Petscape the Yard this Spring

“Paw-lease, let us go outside!” your pets seem to be pleading as they flash you their saddest puppy dog eyes.

After spending most of their winter indoors, pets are springing to life – and pawing at the door.

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Before you let your pets frolic outside this spring, petscape and create a safe and pet-friendly outdoor landscape.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Pass on Pesticides. The most important way to keep pets safe outside is to use organic lawn care products. It’s scary to hear, but dogs whose owners applied chemical herbicides were 4.4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer, according to research. Remind your friends and families to grow a Safe Paws lawn. Always.

No-No Cocoa. Skip the cocoa mulch when petscaping. While this mulch is a true beauty, dogs can’t resist its chocolatey smell. As you may have guessed, cocoa mulch is dangerous and toxic to dogs when eaten.

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Flower Power. Curious dogs and cats often want to see what those fragrant, colorful flowers taste like. While some plants are fine for pets to sample, others are poisonous. Before adding another plant or shrub to your garden, check if it’s safe for your pets.

Compost Ghost. While composting is great for the planet, it’s not as great for your pets. As food and garden waste breaks down, mold may grow. So if your pets nibble your compost, they can become sick. Symptoms range from excessive drooling or panting to vomiting and seizures. Keep compost bins closed or out of pets’ reach.

Your pups and kittens will want to play fur-ever in their Safe Paws lawn. So, go what’s the harm of one more game of fetch? You did use organic lawn care products after all!

Weed Out Bad Seeds from the Lawn

It’s time to put an end to the weed invasion, for good.

Stop annoying weeds, dandelions and crabgrass from ruining your lawn. They won’t know what hit them, but, you will!

Apply a weed preventer now, in early spring, to stop weeds before they start while greening the grass.

No More Weeds Below: Stop Weed Seeds from Sprouting in the Lawn

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Start your early spring lawn care right. Apply an Organic Weed Preventer now to have more time for organic gardening later.

Tender Offenders. Pre-emergent fertilizers only affect weed seeds, so handpick visible weeds. Compost tip: When composting weeds, discard weed seeds first to prevent germination.

Born to Corn. Espoma’s Organic Weed Preventer is 100 percent corn gluten, which helps your lawn grow faster and greener. Corn gluten also organically prevents weeds from growing roots, according to numerous field trials. That’s right: science shows corn stops weeds.

Say No to Chemicals. When you use an organic weed preventer, there’s no need to worry. You’re growing a Safe Paws lawn, so children and pets can safely walk on the grass. Encourage friends and families to use only organic lawn products, too. Studies found a link between chemical lawn fertilizers and canine cancer.

Spring Fling. Apply Weed Preventer in early spring on a dry, recently mowed established lawn. Instructions here. But don’t do this if you recently seeded the lawn. Corn gluten will stop all seeds from germinating, not just weeds!

Expect to Correct. Greener grass is on the horizon! If this is your first year applying a weed preventer, you’ll see up to 58 percent fewer weeds. In your second year, you’ll see up to 85 percent weed reduction. In year three, you’ll have up to 91 percent fewer weeds, according to Iowa State University research. Plus, you’ll have healthier soil and feel better about what you’re putting into it.

Greener grass and fewer weeds – all while keeping your pets and family safe. Life is g-o-o-d with a Safe Paws lawn.

2016 Philly Flower Show is Hitting It Out of the Park

During the final stretch before spring, the Philadelphia Flower Show gives us a magical, beautiful taste of all that’s to come. Which is why we, at Espoma, are thrilled to once again be a contributing sponsor of the show.

Mark your calendar, the show starts in just 4 days! Explore the must-see highlights of the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show here.

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Explore All of America’s National Parks in ONE Day

The 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show, “Explore America,” is celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service.

  • Begin in the Big Timber Lodge. Walk into the quintessential National Park building – filled with a 12’ waterfall, a life-size buffalo sculpture and a variety of woodland plants.
  • Ride the Railway Garden. You’ll wish you could hop on this locomotive! The Train Garden shrinks the American landscape and fills it with large-scale model trains.
  • Fly Away in the Butterfly Room. More than 1,000 butterflies flutter around a magical room – landing on native plants and you! Great for kids!
  • Find Your Friends at Fido Friday. The return of Yappy Hour! It’s Fido Friday on March 11th. Bring your dog, talk Safe Paws and meet fellow dog-owners who love gardening.
  • Discover Incredible Containers. Unbelievable colors and textures in stunning containers. Unearth the beauty, fun and adaptability of container gardens at Espoma’s “Beauty of Container Gardening” display. As always, it’s 100 percent organic.

The Skinny on the Philadelphia Flower Show

  • What: The world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, attracting more than 260,000 people
  • When: Saturday, March 5 – Sunday, March 13. Hours here.
  • Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • How: Buy tickets online or at the door

 Explore our nation’s majestic National Parks in their full glory – wildflowers and evergreens included!