After complaining about the lack of bloom on my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea last year, I thought I’d better put in a good word for this shrub now that it is living up to expectations. It is growing vigorously and has a lot of flowers on it.
What I did differently
As I mentioned earlier this year, I covered the shrub with fallen leaves in late autumn. I made sure they filled the center of the plant and covered the surrounding soil to a depth of six inches. I did not remove these leaves until I was certain the last frost had passed. New growth had already begun under the leaves. (I also saw some vole tunnels, which I filled in. The shrub didn’t seem to have been harmed.)
When I removed the leaf mulch this spring, I also fertilized with Shrubs Alive! Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants, to try to enhance the blue color of the flowers. I think they are bluer than when they last bloomed, though not as blue as in the marketing photos.
I also made sure the hydrangea had better weather this year. Seriously, the weather can have a major impact on the performance of these shrubs, and there’s not much you can do about it. This was a good year for hydrangeas, and I’m thankful for it.
Unfortunately, the ‘Forever & Ever Double Pink’ that I fell in love with seems to have expired. After its stunted growth last year and its very weak growth this spring, I’m wondering if it had a virus. On the other hand, the original Forever & Ever Hydrangea (a single pink) had never bloomed for me before, and it now has buds on it. You win some, you lose some.