En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - July 09, 2010

From: Saratoga Springs, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Soils, Shrubs
Title: Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give me a Hydranga that would be able to withstand lake front winds as well as extreme cold? I tried protecting the plants,but to no avail. I want something that flowers and is strong. The soil is good, but does get a abundance of water since we're by a natural spring.

ANSWER:

The Endless Summer hydrangea is a variety of Hydrangea macrophylla, a native of Korea and Japan.  Since our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America, we can't really be of much help with your Endless Summer hydrangea except to tell you that although it likes moist soil, it also like well-drained soil.  There are two native hydrangeas—Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea), native to the southeastern US, and Hydrangea arborescens (wild hydrangea), which is native to New York and most of the eastern part of the US.  It does grow in moist soil, but, again, it needs to be well-drained. So, I don't think you are going to be able to use hydrangeas there unless you can find a cultivated one that can tolerate having constantly wet feet.  Nonetheless, I can recommend a few New York native shrubs that that can tolerate an excess of water and do bloom.

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Rosa palustris (swamp rose)

Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)

Kalmia polifolia (bog laurel)

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Rosa acicularis (prickly rose)

Spiraea alba (white meadowsweet)


Hibiscus moscheutos

Rosa palustris

Kalmia angustifolia

Kalmia polifolia

Ledum groenlandicum

Rosa acicularis

Spiraea alba

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
August 31, 2012 - i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of passion flower in Tunbridge Wells England
April 08, 2013 - I planted my passion plant 3 years ago and I have really looked after it. I think this winter has killed it, it looks so dead. I hope it can be saved; there isn't one part of it that is looking healt...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive, poisonous Chinese yam
October 16, 2005 - I found a vine in my yard [central Indiana] which I believe is Dioscorea oppositiflora and I wanted first to confirm my identification and second to find out about edibility [especially of the airborn...
view the full question and answer

Care of Ecuadorian penco century plant
December 17, 2007 - I was recently given a Penco, Century plant from Ecuador. It doesn't seem to be doing well. Two of the leaves have turned dark, then yellow, and died completely. Five remain, one seems to be dying as...
view the full question and answer

Can non-native Jacaranda be grown in San Antonio
May 17, 2011 - Can I grow a jacaranda tree in San Antonio? Wonder if it can handle heat, occasional freezes, & dry seasons.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center