lace cap hydrangeas

sammy zone 7 TulsaJanuary 27, 2007

I like blooms - lots of blooms. I have 3 lace cap hydrangeas in my front yard, in the shade, that have never bloomed. They have leaves in the summer, but never bloom. Now this winter, we have had a freeze of all freeze, and I wonder if they will ever bloom.

Do any of you know anything about lace cap hydrangeas? I have about 12 Nico blues, and they did not bloom last summer, but had bloomed in the past. Last summer we had a late hard freeze, that messed up many plants. But last summer was the only time in 10 - 12 years that my Nico blues did not bloom. How about Lace cap? We are zone 7A and I mail ordered them years ago. Is our climate too cold?

I made a note of a summer something hydrangea that is supposed to bloom all summer. Maybe I need to get rid of the lace caps and replace them with that hydrangea.

Do any of you have any information about them. They really go well with roses.


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I have been thinking about the same .
Here are two posts in the rose Gallery Forum that Enlightened me. I put the endless summer on my spring list. also Forever and Ever Hydrangea.

Here is The Website that explained to me Which ones I can get away with.

I just copy and paste these from my favorites into the address.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:35AM
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One more I found from the hydrangea forum

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 1:01AM
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Oooh ooooh I am sorry about so many web addresses but I Found The web page for Endless Summer.I am so excited for spring I can't wait.

This is my final post. thats all I have to say About that. :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 3:53AM
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Sammy, I have the same problem with hydrangea's / lace caps, seems they never bloom or give me 1 or 2 blooms. I just looked them up, and wonder if you prune yours also?

Method I is for hydrangea types that bloom on OLD WOOD. (Stems are called "old wood" if they have been on the hydrangea since the summer before the current season. "New wood" are stems that developed on the plant during the current season) This means that flower buds are formed on the stems of hydrangeas around August, September or October for the following summer's blooms. If those stems are removed (pruned) in the fall, winter, or spring, the bloom buds will be removed, and there may be little or no bloom the following June/July.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 7:56AM
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Susan Serra

Sammy, I can't say I know anything about hydrangeas except for a few basics. I have them situated in morning sun for a few hours and then afternoon shade. I usually remember to water them (they want tons of water) and that's all I do. We may have put compost on them, but they've always bloomed like that. The one that I have two images of, I think is called "Big Smile" and the other one, I'm not sure what that is, the blue one. But, all that said, I'm NOT thrilled that all those beautiful blooms only last about one week! Then they start to fade. :-(

Oh, and I don't prune them at all. Hydrangeas in my garden bloom very very late and for a long time I can't tell what canes are dead and what is not dead. Only when they bloom, I may prune out the dead stuff. Up till then, it's extremely hard to tell.

Here is a link that might be useful: First of THREE images

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 10:39AM
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Susan Serra

They last in full bloom for about a week on the blue one, not the Big Smile one.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 10:41AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Hi Susan,

Thank you for the pictures. They are beautiful, but they only last a week? That is not enough time.

Roselvr, I am like Susan. I cannot tell what ones need to be pruned, so I wait until they are blooming, and sometimes I don't even prune them then, but just let nature take care of them. I think that my 3 Lace Caps are more winter tender than my other hydrangeas in the back.

In the past people would almost look at my hydrangeas more than my roses, they looked so pretty for 4-6 weeks. But every year I have about one weak bloom on my Lace Caps. It is just enough to tell that I have identified it correctly.

Sam, I looked up every link, and do so much appreciate your taking the time to place them in your threads. I like White Flower Farm and Vintage Gardens. I hope I read the price incorrectly because $31.00 is quite a bit of money for one plant - at least in my garden. I just looked in a Park Seed catalog, and the price is around $24, so after shipping, etc., we are approaching $30. Park Seed has ones with red. I am after the blue since it is such a nice contrast in my garden.

You did get the right flower, too. It is called Endless Summer. It will bloom on new and old wood. I find it very discouraging to have a late hard frost ruin a flower for the season. Around here many people lost once blooming roses blooms for the season. Even the latest killing frost does not seem to kill the plant, but when the buds are ready to open, and they are killed, that is it.

Sam I need to do what you are doing and begin to keep those links in my favorites. The problem is that now I need to take a good look at all the roses you listed since they also are so pretty.

Susan, it is good to hear from you again.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:16PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Sammy, I don't know about your area but I read somewhere that they shouldn't be pruned except for dead wood. I may have pruned once and learned my lesson. They must bloom on old wood. I have the regular blue ones, not lace cap. Also, they like lots of water. I would like to have more but I can't grow everything. Sorry I can't help more.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 1:21PM
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cecily(7 VA)

Hi Sammy,
I purchased an Endless Summer three years ago as a five gallon plant. It only bloomed once for each of the first two summers, last summer it bloomed three times. So I suggest you buy the largest plant available since it takes a couple of years to get going. Home Depot sells five gallon Endless Summers here for $25. It blooms blue in acid soil, pink in alkaline soil.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 2:52PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Hydrangeas can be a mystery. I have three lace caps which are doing well. They bloom every spring and the flowers last about a month but "persist" throughout the season. They are in partial shade. I do not prune them because they only bloom on old wood. They seem to bloom more when they get more sun, but a full sun location causes them to wilt and decline. The trick is to find a partial sun location to their liking.

As you see below, they do well with the hostas and rhododendrons. This plant manages to get blue and pink blooms on the same plant at the same time. Maybe Mike Rivers can explain that, because I sure can't.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 7:05PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

That is a very pretty picture. Thanks Harry.

I am beginning to think that with the hydrangeas I have in the back yard, I might try something else in the front rather than to pay such a high price. Since I will at least have the leaves, I will leave it alone this year. If I do get a new one, it will be (they will be) Endless Summer. I know now to keep them in a pot for awhile until they are large enough to bloom well.

Thanks everyone for your input.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 10:32PM
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Maybe you should try the varigated lacecap. Kaye has one and it looks good even when it is not blooming. Gives you some color all summer.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 1:57AM
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I mostly grow "mopheads" Macrophylla Hydrangeas, but their treatment, I believe is the same as Lacecaps which are also Macrophylla. I too have had more success, virtually leaving them unpruned and by gosh that is when they bloom the heaviest. Had too many years of bloomless hydrangeas for pruning back too far.

Susan your lacecaps are beautiful and I see you too are of the same school re no-pruning. I love hydrangeas almost as much as I love my roses.

I was delighted to purchase my first Endless Summer last year, and I can hardly wait for it to get going - still in that lovely blue pot that they are grown and shipped in.

All but my white hydrangeas, I have tagged either "pink" or "blue". I would have thought that I had acid soil, but am having a hard time turning some of them blue, but the coffee grinds are finally working. On all tagged "pink", I give them a little lime, and all tagged "blue" I give them coffee grinds, hoping to get my blue, bluer and the pinks pinker, tee-hee!! I am using identical varieties that I am trying to change the colours as I hope to eventually have a kaleidescope of colourful hydrangeas.

Hope you enjoy my hydrangea pics?

Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 2:07AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Pauline, your photos are gorgeous. I have a very close friend who has lots of bushes and she gets the purple, Carolina Blue, and other beautiful shades. I'm crazy over Gardenias too. I have two rooted and will be able to plant this year.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 9:33PM
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Thanks Carla, you are so sweet. Wow I love gardenias too and their gorgeous leaves - fragrance to die for, but I thought that they were just too "out of reach". I only had one beautiful gardenia as a house plant once, and it did not make it - I was soo disappointed - don't tell me you are growing them out in the garden??? I am sure it is not warm enough here! Was it difficult to root those two?

Love P.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:35AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania


Absolutely breathtaking. Your beds are a work of art.

It looks like yours are not shaded by trees or walls. Mine just will not grow without the shade of trees. I guess you get enough overcast days to make it work.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:32AM
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I LOVE hydrangeas!! Especially the lacecap ones. The blooms last for a very, very long time for me, but I live in a mild climate, so that's probably why.

They prefer dappled shade/part sun, ample water. You have to be very careful about the pruning. Most people end up pruning off the buds for next year's blooms. You have to know which kind you have, to know how to prune.

Generally, I never prune until the buds are developing, then they are obvious, and I just prune down to the pair that are the height I prefer. I like the mopheads, but prefer the lacecaps. I've got about 10 or 12 of them in the front and back.

This year one of my mopheads bloomed a deep, deep blue, and I did nothing to alter the ph! I wonder what was in that soil this year?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Debra, that's a switch! I like your idea of not pruning until the buds are developing, hmmm! now why didn't I think of that! :smile I will see if that will work for me. Thanks for the tip! :)

Harry, thanks for your nice comments. We have a bank of dense tall cedars and fir trees (mainly cedars) bordering our property. The shade garden where the rhodos/hydrangeas etc are face true north. They are close enough to the trees that they are shaded most of the day, with a little sunshine on the longest days when the sun is at its highest. The opposite side of the garden has the same trees but faces true south, so they get a terrific amount of sun in the summertime and that is where my roses and sun loving plants are. The trees are spectacular, but the "DOWN" side is, in the winter, including now, we get absolutely no sun, and that can be depressing. We start getting short periods of it later in February, then the hours increase fairly rapidly in to the summer.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 1:45AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I grow blue mopheads (Nikko Blue)and white mopheads (Annabelle). I never prune unless I see an obviously dead stem--it gets pruned to the ground--or until after I can see buds. Even then, I only prune the dead stuff above the buds, or not at all. No reason to prune unless there is dead matter showing.

To keep your blue hydrangeas blue, apply aluminum sulfate to the soil. Treat the soil several times in the spring with 1/4 ounce of aluminum sulfate to a gallon of water. To obtain or keep pink flowers, add lime to the soil.

Of course, whites like Annabelle will only yield white, no matter what you do.

I love hydrangeas--had more before I opened up the yard to sunshine so I could grow roses. Kinda miss some of the sacrificed hydrangeas (I still have some), but still won't sacrifice my roses so I can have more hydrangeas.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 9:09AM
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My lace caps bloom prolifically every year. after the plants go dormant for the winter i prune the older woody growth off, leaving the growth from that year to bloom the next year. this keeps them from taking over the space they are in.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:15PM
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This is my first post. I have mopheads and lacecaps next to each other. I did not prune any of them last summer, only after it was clear which pieces were really dead. I'm getting many flowers on the mopheads (pink and blue) but only a few on the lacecaps, and they never seem to open fully like the ones in the picture above. Is that what people mean by 'blooming'? When I bought the plants they had beautiful pink blooms, not half open blue ones. Any suggestions? thanks.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 3:14PM
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bibbus 7b(7b)

I was looking for an answer to the same question. My lace cap flowers did not fully form this year. The circle of flowers around the center was missing a few of the individual flowers. I know I am not using the right terminology but I hope you know what I mean. Last year they did much better under drought conditions and were fully formed with a full ring of flowers around the center. This year we got lots of rain but the flowers never seemed to fully mature. Any ideas? I should have taken pictures but I didn't.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:44PM
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