Published on 07/01/01

More About Hydrangeas on 'Gardening'

UGA CAES File Photo

Walter Reeves

When "Gardening in Georgia" host Walter Reeves showed how to change the color of hydrangea flowers a few weeks ago, you may have thought that was all there was. You were wrong. On this week's show July 4 and 7, Reeves has more about these prolific bloomers.

"Gardening in Georgia" airs on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and is rebroadcast on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Television. The show is produced specifically for Georgia gardeners by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. To learn more, visit the show's Web site.

This week, Reeves shows off some hydrangeas with flower forms unlike the familiar mophead, including "Teller Red," "Preziosa" and "Cardinal Red."

A Georgia Native

Guest Parker Andes of Callaway Gardens points out the oakleaf hydrangea. A Georgia native, it uses little water and grows in either sun or shade. The big flowers are infertile but attract pollinators to the fertile flowers growing below them.

Reeves also reveals how easy it is to propagate a hydrangea in summer. He bends a limb to the earth and wounds a small section, then dusts the wound with a rooting hormone and buries the branch in the soil. A brick holds it in place. Three months later, the limb will have rooted in place.

Cobb County Extension Agent Nina Eckberg explains why you should use mulch: fewer weeds, consistent soil temperatures and retention of soil moisture. She shows mulches that gardeners can use and how to apply them: 2 to 4 inches deep, but not against the trunk or bark.

A Flower Tower

Helen Phillips of Callaway Gardens shows how she recycled a piece of 8-inch PVC pipe to create a flower tower. She drilled 2-inch holes in the side and anchored it in a pan of concrete. Then she hung a short soaker hose in the middle as soil is added to fill the pipe. Plants such as nasturtium and petunia can be planted in the holes.

CAES horticulturist Jim Midcap describes the Trident maple (Acer buergeranum), a 1998 Georgia Gold Medal Winner.

And finally, CAES entomologist Beverly Sparks describes the life cycle and control of the armored scale. That armored covering is hard for predators, adverse weather and even pesticides to penetrate.

Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.