Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shade for the Hydrangeas

About a six weeks ago, I bought two Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout hydrangeas.  I was told by a random customer at Home Depot that they do really well in the shade.  But my internet research said that I should give my plants at least several hours of morning sun for them to bloom properly.  So, I planted them along the fence in my backyard that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.

Apparently, the spot I selected received too much morning sun and not enough afternoon shade, because just a couple of days after planting, my hydrangeas were looking very sad and wilted.  I realized I needed to quickly move them to another part of the yard with more shade, or they would die.  I again recruited the biceps of my husband to dig two new holes for me (again, the Central Texas ground is a beast to deal with all the rock) in the back corner of our lot, next to the canna lilies, where I thought there would be more shade from the trees that tower overhead.

Several weeks have gone by, and I realize that my hydrangeas are still receiving too much sun. I desperately needed to get them in some full shade, or else they will wither up and die on me.  Unfortunately, it is a treasure hunt to try and find a soft patch of ground that isn't filled with boulders two inches above the surface.  Not to mention, it has barely rained in Central Texas this summer, so where there is actually top soil, it is nearly as hard as the rock a few inches below.

Desperate to save my hydrangeas, I got the idea to get the hose out and let it run for 30 minutes in the specific spot I wanted to plant my hydrangeas, to help loosen the soil (good thing we aren't on water restrictions...yet!).  Low and behold, the plan worked!  However, I also needed a little additional help from my handy pick-ax that I recently purchased (a must-have for any Central Texas gardener to get through the rocky terrain).  The mix of the softened ground and the pick ax allowed me to dig the size holes I needed to transplant my hydrangeas.  Not to mention, I was able to dig the holes all by myself, even with my puny muscles.

The hydrangeas definitely show signs of taking a beating from the brutal Texas sun, but they also look like they will be able to jump back to life in no time.  I just hope I picked a shady enough spot this time.  We will soon find out!  And let this be a lesson to me to always heed the advice of the home gardeners testimonies over the internet recommendations.


  1. Keeping your hydrangeas watered well is more important than their location . They are very susceptible to drought.

  2. I have plants planted in morning shade and afternoon sun and the reverse in the front. They both do well as long as they are kept well watered. High heat and little water makes for very unhappy hydrangeas!

    1. My plants were being watered daily, so while the water is very important, I think they still didn't like the Texas sun. It could also be that the water evaporated much faster since it was in the sun. They seem to really be coming back to life in the shade, but it could also be because we've had so much rain this week, or a little of both. I guess I will find out more next dry spell.