How much sun for Let's Dance® Blue Jangles® Reblooming hydrangea


LGY

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Hi,

I am new to hydrangea and recently got a hold of this one from a local nurseries.

I am in zone 9b in California and before I purchase the hydrangea (the only plant my husband asks for within all the rest of “my” plant purchase; he wants a blue one), I did lots of research how to keep it blue and how in general hydrangea don’t like to much sun as it might burn (I think YouTube “garden answers” says she put an umbrella out the first year, but her weather is different from mine and hers was jumbo big and not compact type).

The specific one I got (link at the bottom) says part sun to sun sun, so I am not sure if the current set up of direct sun of 3.5 hours in spring time is sufficient enough.

Anyone has experience with this plant in hot climate or in general what to look for to tell if this plant is happy & healthy (like indicator of too much or not enough sun)?

I have attached a picture, so basically the left fence blocks the sun available in case it burnt. The pot is heavy.
Thanks in advanced.


 

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The stronger your sun is during the summer months, the more protection this macrophylla will need. It can be grown in either morning sun or dappled sun. Limit the amount of wind to minimize soil evaporation, especially in the summer. I have some mopheads in bright but full shade too; however, they produce more blooms with more sunlight. The latest direct sun should strike the plant by 10am or thereabouts in the hot summer months.

Transition it slowly from your plant nursery's environment to your final planting location. That way, the foliage gets used to getting more sun. For example, you can put them under a tree's east side to get full shade and slowly creep up the sunlight until it matches the hours in the desired planting site. These first set of leaves may be extra sensitive to direct sunlight as well as lack of humidity; future foliage may be stronger.

Macrophylla leaves typically do not like direct sunlight in the afternoon/evening during the hot summer months (but they can take full sun in winter or in very, very early Spring or mid-late Fall).

The plant's leaves and blooms may show signs of heat stress in Year 1 more than in other years so monitor temperatures. Once temps get typically above 85F, expect foliage/bloom signs of heat stress so increase the amount of water, etc...

Try to maintain the soil as evenly moist -not wet but not dry either- as you practically can. Skip watering if the soil feels wet when you insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 3" or so. Since new plants purchased in plant nurseries already come with fertilizer, you will not need to fertilize right a way but maintain 2-4" of organic mulch (no rocks) year around the plants to minimize potting soil evaporation. BJ should get about 2' tall and 3' wide. Depending on your potting mix's pH, the blooms can be a shade of blue, purple or pink. If the soil amendment is not enough to keep the blooms in the correct color range, slowly increase them but be careful as these amendments use sulfur, which can burn the tiny, fibrous roots that hydrangeas have. BJ should bloom in Spring on stems that developed invisible flower buds late Summer 2020 or early Fall 2020. It will bloom again in Summer 2021 from new stens that will start growing this year, as long as the stems get tall and old enough. In late Summer 2021 or in the Fall 2021, your plant will develop invisible flower buds that will open in Spring 2022.

If planted where it can attain its estimated size at maturity, pruning would not be needed normally but, if it was required for some reason, it should be done in Spring after the plant has stopped opening new blooms but before the end of June. These are estimated dates that can vary. But somewhere after BJ blooms in Spring and around mid-summer, it will develop invisible flower buds. These are located at the end of hydrangea stems so for example, if you prune in the Fall, you may be cutting off the blooms that will open the following Spring.
 

LGY

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Thank you.

So it sounds like this is not too little light since it were a new nursery plants. The nursery has the plant in those grid shade structure so it gets full day of partial shade only. It’s current sun exposure is like around noon to 3 pm afternoon. If successful, we planned to eventually to the south side of the house, which is hot and full sun, especially in summer (he wants hydrangea and I want lavender, with the latter handle drought much better, or so I were told). This is one of the first test plant under protection of backyard spying eyes to see if hydrangea can really handle sun since most people says they can’t. There is no wind except winter in California Sacramento area, just the scorching desert sun of average high 90s-100s in summer. I will keep an eye on watering since this is not in drip. Otherwise I will have to move it to the Japanese maple area which gets even less light.

Just want to be responsible to learn some landscaping as newbie before doing the whole front yard landscaping for the new home (plus new home expenses is crazy so trying to do the other essentials items first before landscaping).

Thanks again for the advice.


The stronger your sun is during the summer months, the more protection this macrophylla will need. It can be grown in either morning sun or dappled sun. Limit the amount of wind to minimize soil evaporation, especially in the summer. I have some mopheads in bright but full shade too; however, they produce more blooms with more sunlight. The latest direct sun should strike the plant by 10am or thereabouts in the hot summer months.

Transition it slowly from your plant nursery's environment to your final planting location. That way, the foliage gets used to getting more sun. For example, you can put them under a tree's east side to get full shade and slowly creep up the sunlight until it matches the hours in the desired planting site. These first set of leaves may be extra sensitive to direct sunlight as well as lack of humidity; future foliage may be stronger.

Macrophylla leaves typically do not like direct sunlight in the afternoon/evening during the hot summer months (but they can take full sun in winter or in very, very early Spring or mid-late Fall).

The plant's leaves and blooms may show signs of heat stress in Year 1 more than in other years so monitor temperatures. Once temps get typically above 85F, expect foliage/bloom signs of heat stress so increase the amount of water, etc...

Try to maintain the soil as evenly moist -not wet but not dry either- as you practically can. Skip watering if the soil feels wet when you insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 3" or so. Since new plants purchased in plant nurseries already come with fertilizer, you will not need to fertilize right a way but maintain 2-4" of organic mulch (no rocks) year around the plants to minimize potting soil evaporation. BJ should get about 2' tall and 3' wide. Depending on your potting mix's pH, the blooms can be a shade of blue, purple or pink. If the soil amendment is not enough to keep the blooms in the correct color range, slowly increase them but be careful as these amendments use sulfur, which can burn the tiny, fibrous roots that hydrangeas have. BJ should bloom in Spring on stems that developed invisible flower buds late Summer 2020 or early Fall 2020. It will bloom again in Summer 2021 from new stens that will start growing this year, as long as the stems get tall and old enough. In late Summer 2021 or in the Fall 2021, your plant will develop invisible flower buds that will open in Spring 2022.

If planted where it can attain its estimated size at maturity, pruning would not be needed normally but, if it was required for some reason, it should be done in Spring after the plant has stopped opening new blooms but before the end of June. These are estimated dates that can vary. But somewhere after BJ blooms in Spring and around mid-summer, it will develop invisible flower buds. These are located at the end of hydrangea stems so for example, if you prune in the Fall, you may be cutting off the blooms that will open the following Spring.
 
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Just a few hours of morning sun would be fine. In winter and early Spring, the sun is not harsh in most locations and you can have them exposed to more sun than you can otherwise. Once temperatures over 85F arrive, the plants foliage and blooms need to be protected from hot direct sunlight, soil needs to be kept moist and you need to monitor them for heat stress (wilting, etc.)... especially in Year 1. Direct sun after 10-11am -definitely direct afternoon sun at 3pm- would have to be kept off limits in the summer. For those reasons, the hot south side is not usually recommended as a good location if one lives where the summer sun is harsh... unless you are doing something like placing them on the east side of a shade tree that happens to be in the south side of your house. ;o))

I normally start watering at "Spring levels" once the plants leaf out. An example would be about 1 gallon of water a week everytime that the soil feels dry when you insert a finger into the soil at a depth of 3-4 inches. Once temperatures regularly exceed 85F (not sure what city you are in but here in Texas it happens in late April or May), increase the amount of water a notch to "Summer Levels" for the duration of summer. If temperatures regularly exceed 95F, consider an optional watering. Then as temperatures go down in the Fall, discontinue the optional watering as temperatures stay below 95F; then water at "Spring Levels" as temperatures stay below 85F; once the plant goes dormant in the Fall, you can water once a week or once every two weeks or when the soil feels dry, depending on local rains always. Once you see leaf out again, complete the circle and start watering at Spring Levels. The amount of water needed (gallons) depends on a variety of factors such as the type of soil, weather, etc. The pot size also may enter into the equation in this case.

Hints: when planted in the ground, you have watered enough if the soil at a depth of 8" feels moist some time after watering. The most drought tolerant of the hydrangeas are the hydrangea quercifolias (also known as oakleaf hydrangeas).
 
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Thank you.

So it sounds like this is not too little light since it were a new nursery plants. The nursery has the plant in those grid shade structure so it gets full day of partial shade only. It’s current sun exposure is like around noon to 3 pm afternoon. If successful, we planned to eventually to the south side of the house, which is hot and full sun, especially in summer (he wants hydrangea and I want lavender, with the latter handle drought much better, or so I were told). This is one of the first test plant under protection of backyard spying eyes to see if hydrangea can really handle sun since most people says they can’t. There is no wind except winter in California Sacramento area, just the scorching desert sun of average high 90s-100s in summer. I will keep an eye on watering since this is not in drip. Otherwise I will have to move it to the Japanese maple area which gets even less light.

Just want to be responsible to learn some landscaping as newbie before doing the whole front yard landscaping for the new home (plus new home expenses is crazy so trying to do the other essentials items first before landscaping).

Thanks again for the advice.
I always have a hard time with the too little or too much sun defining lines. The internet is a poor source unless the information is local. The reason it is a poor source is the broad scale of solar intensity. Elevations impact the energy for example. Most electric stoves have eyes that are different sizes. Put a big pot on a small eye and its slow. Put a little pot on a big eye and its liable to burn before you know it. Yet they all are just as hot as the other, so why the differences? Flow rate of energy. Amperage is another word. Gallons per hour if it was water. And this can make a difference of a couple hours if not more to a plant that has 4-6 hours of sun on its label. A little observation of this effect in your area pays off big as you go because its the engine that drives all the plants. Honestly, those labels saying 4-6 hours are talking a 33 percent difference. That is pretty broad one has to admit, because of solar intensity differences across a round planet.
 

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