Monday, July 27, 2009

Garden Talks July 27--Daylilies, Christmas Fern, Climbing Hydrangea

Hello again,
Good gardening friend Barbara Gardener checks in with "First bloom. One of my favorites and nothing is eating it. How great is that!"
That is just a beauty Miss Barbara!
Colleague David K of A Garden in Maine fame also features a great picture of some daylilies in his Portland garden. David's blog is one that you should check out as often as you can!
Back to daylilies: They are profusely in flower in so many places right now so take time to stop and look at the daylilies! The daylilies are a Must Have because 1)they are gorgeous in late July 2) they are extremely reliable and hardy 3)they are close to pest free (Barbara is probably referring to snails as her and many other plants are under constant snail and slug attack) 4)their large canopy does an awesome job at crowding out weeds.
Skillin's Plug: we have an incredible array of daylilies right now so as I just wrote take time to stop and look at our daylilies!
One of the sites we follow at is "BloominKrazy". The folks at BloominKrazy recently posted a "tweet" that pointed to the virtues of the Christmas Fern"... as the most indestructible fern in the world....Known in botanical circles as polystichum acrostichoides, here is an evergreen native fern that can take almost anything you can throw at it. It is found growing naturally in every state east of the Rockies and will remain green all winter. It prefers open woods, shady areas and grows 2 to 3 feet tall. However, the evergreen fronds are not immortal. As new fronds begin to uncurl, old ones wither away. It is a tough plant, a virtual bundle of perseverance, and looks wonderful. " We have a good selection of Christmas fern right here at Skillin's!
Customer TW asked "I bought a climbing hydrangea from you folks about 3 or 4 years ago. Every year it gets very lush but I've never had blossoms. I feed it; add new soil to my gardens every spring and mulch as well. It's location is in the sun - not full sun all day but it gets at least 4 or 5 hours of sun a day. Do you think I'm doing something wrong?"
Answer: If the hydrangea is near your lawn or is being fed with a high nitrogen fertilizer (beware of Miracle Gro here) then there may be too much push for green. Now would be a good time to add a Blossom Plus liquid feeding or perhaps even better a feeding of granular Super or Triple Phosphate by Espoma. These fertilizers help shrubs to blossom.

Do not prune your hydrangea; this will help it get a little more mature as well. Your light exposure seems fine!
Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
July 27, 2009

1 comment:

Mike Skillin, Skillin's Greenhouses said...

KCB contributed the following helpful info about climbing hydrangeas:

Admittedly, I am falling in love, all over again, with many of the tried and true hydrangea. Many of ‘my’ gardens now boast the Limelight. Photo ops later?!

I have found climbing hydrangea to be one of the easiest to maintain of the climbing vines. It has been my experience that this is one of my ‘3 year rule’ (1st year sleep, 2nd creep and 3rd leap) plants. Patience is a virtue that the climbing hydrangea will reward. I once had one that bloomed profusely the 5th year and the rest is history. TW indicates he has had the plant 3-4 years. Often time gets away from us. For many of my ‘3 yr’ perennials I find myself checking notes to review the exact planting date. If this is the case, then you are right on that it could be too much nitrogen. I feed the climbers in my care Espoma Holly Tone late fall. You are also correct regarding pruning. These blossom on old wood. They also like well drained but not dry soil. Ok, this may be sounding more like a high maintenance plant, but no. Not many plants like to be too dry or too wet.

If the leaves look healthy and it does appear the sun exposure is enough, TW just may need to wait another year or possibly 2.