Endless Summer Hydrangea Has One Bloom

– Posted in: Hydrangeas, What's up/blooming
16 comments

Every day I take a walk around my garden, and check my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea for buds.

I don't see any flowers, do you?

I don't see any flowers, do you?

And every day I sigh, and walk away disappointed. But one day I was on my knees, weeding a bed about six feet away, and happened to glance over at my bloomless shrub.
Wait! Do I see a flash of blue?

Wait! Do I see a flash of blue?


There's a flower in there!

There's a flower in there!

Hidden in the interior of the shrub, scarcely visible unless you move branches aside, one blossom was in full, true-blue bloom. Who’d a thunk it? The shrub itself is larger than last year, and despite the predations of insects, seems to be vigorous and thriving. I suspect it would be flowering more if the summer were warmer. And I did find another still very immature flower bud, but only one.
Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Debbiecz January 30, 2012, 10:06 am

Hi, just found your blog for the first time and am enjoying the perusal. In November I attended a lecture at the chicago botanic gardens. The speaker runs the arboretum at the univ of Wisconsin at Madison. great speaker,subject was why our garden plants dont look like the catalogs/nursery stock. Hydrangeas are a pet peeve of his. On a personal note, I bought an ES a few years ago and now that I leave it alone it has tripled in size and is covered in blooms. But I cut with fear hoping I haven’t messed it up. I mound up lots of leaves and dirt, even piling snow on it as an extra blanket against frost. I’m located north of Chicago close to the lake. I also started with a small plant so perhaps it adjusted better. It helps to consider plants temporary guests that might visit briefly or may move in for the long term, just enjoy as you can.

Kathy Purdy January 30, 2012, 10:20 am

Thank you, Debbie. Since writing that post I have discovered a great book, Hydrangeas in the North: Getting Blooms in the Colder Climates that has lots of tips for getting the best from macrophylla hydrangeas in our less forgiving climate. Mounding leaves and dirt as you do protects the flowers buds from the cold. There are pruning tips in the book as well, so you might want to take a look at it.

daniel June 5, 2011, 10:06 am

I recently bought my first hydrangea. It has many buds and looks promising. It is in a 7.5 gal. pot. When it goes dormant I’ll plant it in the ground. I was hoping for blue, but pink is beginning to show. Soil ph was 7 so I added aluminum sulfate. 1 tbl/gal. ph dropped to 6.2. I read it should be 5.2 to 5.5. True? Also, is it too late to change color this season? I’ve also read not to change ph level too drastically. Seems reasonable. What is the most it can be safely changed at one time? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Laura August 27, 2009, 3:32 pm

Hi I’m a garden writer on an online news site in northeast Michigan http://www.infonortheast.com, working on a story about hydrangeas this week. Absolutely loved these hydrangea blogs, and have just subscribed to Cold Climate Gardening. Do any of you find the ‘Forever and Ever’ hydrangeas to be better or worse than the ‘Endless Summer?’ I am writing for a readership in mostly zone 4 with a few pockets of zone 5 in microclimates at the shores of our many lakes. Appreciative of any info with these new beauties, as I have stuck strictly with H.arborescens ‘Annabelle’ after countless fruitless tries in the 90s with ‘Nikko Blues.’ The ‘Annabelles are lovely here, and ‘limelight ‘is good too, but most who try Endless Summer are not completely thrilled, having problems with very limited (if any) blooming. Then there are the few freaks who still have there Nikkos doing well 10 years later, but I think these are all waterfront lucky devils.

Kathy Purdy August 27, 2009, 4:08 pm

Laura, I received Forever and Evers to trial as well. Only one made it through my special brand of neglect, the original one. It gets the same protection as the Endless Summer and doesn’t have any blooms this year, but it did pretty well last year. I think Zone 4 gardeners have to really want a blue flowering hydrangea enough to baby it, because they sure aren’t as winter-hardy as the Annabelles and Limelights, nor as forgiving of a cool summer. I really did love the look of the double pink F&F, but it died of something unrelated to hardiness.

Bonnie Pfeifer August 25, 2009, 9:04 am

I have 3 ES planted in a group. Yes, I bought the hype unfortunately and these green balls are in a prominent place in my circle bed. One bush has had three or so blooms, one has had five or so and one has none. None of them bloomed before August. I’m new to hydrangeas but my other ones (annabelle, peegee, quick fire) are flourishing and full of flowers. I live in Maine in zone 4. Do I dare transplant the ES to a less prominent place? I’d love to get more color in that spot.

Kathy Purdy August 25, 2009, 9:23 am

In one of my previous posts on this topic, one commenter had given their recommendation about the best transplanting time, but I can’t find the comment. You can transplant them, but I think I would wait until all danger of frost is past in spring.

Joene August 14, 2009, 10:31 pm

Mine is blooming, but not as well as it did last year. My lacecap has no blooms though. Every gardener I speak with has the same problem. Must have had something to do with the weather.
.-= Joene´s last blog ..HGTV Officially Ceases The Gardener Guy Show =-.

Garden Mad August 14, 2009, 8:47 pm

I pruned mine a bit early and was worried as we had such a cold winter (at least it was for us here in the North West of England). But whatever I did it liked it and is covered in flowers. I always prune quite hard as soon as the plant starts to produce new shoots. That way I can see the final shape that I want and it obviously doesn’t harm the plant.

Garden Junkie August 14, 2009, 9:07 am

I gave up on Endless Summer when I lived in Michigan – what’s the point in a bloomless hydrangea? (well, ok, maybe the foliage serves a purpose sometimes). Even finicky mopheads seem to do much better, given a little winter protection.
.-= Garden Junkie´s last blog .."Extreme Fighting" in the Garden =-.

arythrina August 13, 2009, 9:43 pm

Mine is completely bloom free too… 🙁
.-= arythrina´s last blog ..Orchids, daylilies, tropicals. =-.

Salix August 13, 2009, 9:02 pm

Wonderful, there’s still hope. I haven’t seen any blooms on mine yet.
.-= Salix´s last blog ..Salix ‘Americana’ =-.

Cindy, MCOK August 13, 2009, 5:37 pm

It’s always a welcome surprise to find blooms where we thought there were none! Love that blue.
.-= Cindy, MCOK´s last blog ..And Now For Something Completely Different … =-.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter August 13, 2009, 4:46 pm

The peek-a-boo blooms are blooming on old wood. That must be under the snow line. My ‘Bailmer’ (Endless Summer) had only 1 bloom this year, which is very disappointing. It might be time for me to transplant it to the compost pile.
.-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..From the DAISNAID* file: How Not to Train a Dogwood =-.