Questions from the 2022 Seattle flower show continue, with blue, mophead hydrangea blooming and pruning in our main segment. Ellen and C.L. also talk about pH for vegetable gardens and peonies that stop blooming.
This episode is brought to you by our friends at Dramm – the Rainwands and other garden gear we love.
:45 The Plant Noob: How important is soil pH for vegetables
6:56 Eat/Drink/Grow: Hydrangea Happiness
18:17 Love Letters and Questions: 30 year old peony stopped blooming.
Will vegetables do well in acidic or alkaline soils? Ellen and C.L. discuss the importance of pH when growing vegetables.
The key to getting a blue hydrangea (mophead or lacecap) to bloom is in this photo. See those buds where the leaf stems join the main stem? Those contain the germ of next summer’s flowers. They are formed in July or August the previous year, so they have to make it through the winter and not be cut back in order to flower.
If you live where the winter temperatures go below 5° F, the flower buds are likely to get killed. In cold regions, grow these shrubs in pots and bring them into a cool garage for the winter.
This is what peony botrytis looks like. See how the buds have turned brown? In cold, wet springs, this often happens and the peonies don’t flower.