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Hydrangea Plant Not Growing Well?

I have hydrangeas which are in pots outside but the flowers have died and the leaves are green and look healthy. Would they survive being planted out in the back yard? Some of my neighbors have large hydrangea plants in their yards. Second question – will a kalanchoe plant (in a pot) grow if I plant it in my flower bed? Thank you.I have hydrangeas which are in pots outside but the flowers have died and the leaves are green and look healthy. Would they survive being planted out in the back yard? Some of my neighbors have large hydrangea plants in their yards. Second question – will a kalanchoe plant (in a pot) grow if I plant it in my flower bed? Thank you, Phyllis

Answer:

Phyllis,

You did not specify what variety you were growing: quercifolia, macrophylla, arborescens or paniculata. Most hydrangeas are hardy from Zone 5 to 9, with a few being even more cold hardy. Since you are in Zone 9B, the hydrangeas will do OK for you in the ground, but you are on the high end of the their tolerance range. If others are growing them successfully then you should be able to as well, if you give them the right conditions. Check the ones that are the most successful and see how much shade or sun they are receiving, and how much moisture they are getting. If you are growing the macrophylla (mophead) variety, then you will probably want to check the acidity level of your soil if you want them to be blue. Typically hydrangeas like some shade from the hot midday sun. They are heavy drinkers (of water, please!) and need soil acidification if your pH is too low. Even though you are in a warm climate, they will still most likely have a resting period, like the dormancy they undergo in colder climates. Don’t push them if that is the case.

The kalanchoe is technically a hardiness Zone 10.  Since you are 9B, you might try to find a well-protected area to see if it will survive. Keep it protected from any frost and keep it in a partially shaded location; it is not a full sun lover.

Happy Gardening!
Karen

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