Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Shrubs Questions

Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
April 15, 2013 - Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Kentucky
June 12, 2010 - We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside pl...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf foundation plants for St. Augustine FL
May 03, 2010 - Need to put in fast, low growing (3' max) foundation plants that would be frost hardy and work well in the St. Augustine area of Northeast Florida.
view the full question and answer

Picture in newspaper from Austin
June 02, 2012 - Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Replacement of non-native red tip photinias in Midlothian VA
April 30, 2012 - I need to replace our long lived red tips. They are now diseased. I would like a fast growing bush that I can trim and make a hedge with. Any suggestions
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.