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 Soils Questions

Vine for full sun in Las Vegas NV
July 05, 2013 - Looking for vine to thrive in full sun in Las Vegas, NV. I tried Cape Honeysuckle and Star Jasmine and both died within 5 days. The leaves were burnt. What's your suggestion? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for sunny dry soil location
August 22, 2010 - Do any native plants exist in a highly sunny very dry soil location? (high overhang prevents rain but allows sun)
view the full question and answer

Improperly prepared building site in Virginia
June 24, 2008 - Hi, I have a question about planting on newly-built homesite. We just moved into a new home in DC suburbs (Northern VA) and the landscape is the worst of the builder grade. There are prickly junipers ...
view the full question and answer

Growing rabitteye blueberries in Phenix City AL
January 18, 2013 - What type soil is needed to grow rabbiteye blueberries?
view the full question and answer

Will wood shavings in the soil require nitrogen from Charleston MO
May 04, 2011 - I cut down a big maple tree and a lot of the wood shavings was left in the soil. I planted a flower bed over the area this spring. I later read that the wood chips in the soil would use a lot of nitro...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center