Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hydrangea "First Red" ... Help?

When the clearance sale rolled around last year, I bought hydrangea that were tagged 'First Red'.
Ok, let me make something clear here - hydrangeas and I don't get along all that well. We just don't see things eye to eye. I think, if there was a plant that was my polar opposite, hydrangea is it.

Around here, everyone has them in their yards. They grow like weeds.
Yup, they're another of those, "Any idiot can grow it," plants that I can't get to grow!

But, hey, they were 50 cents a piece. 50 cents! I know, don't say it. I'm a sucker. I bought the six they had left.

So, anyway, I'm giving myself another shot at growing them because, well, did I mention they were only 50 cents?
Here's the tag:

To save you the eye strain:

First Red
Red flowers bloom in spring.
Part sun to part shade
Rich, porous soil.
Regular water use
Zone 6, -10 to 0F (-23 to -17C)

I've searched everywhere for some info on this one, and there isn't much.
I did find this from Richie seed & feed garden news, November 10, 2009:

New Plants for 2010!!!
First Red Hydrangea. Yet
another hydrangea for
new hydrangea lovers.
The “First Red” blooms
on old and new wood.
The blooms are an amazing
deep red and flower
from July to September.
This compact variety stays
under 20” tall. An amazing
dwarf variety.

Besides care instructions (that part I get) this is about all I've found, and bloom time doesn't even match! The stupid tag doesn't even list height, so is it really a dwarf or not?

Is it macrophylla, normalis, serrata, paniculata, (which is zoned to 3-4, so I wouldn't assume), quercifolia, arborescens?

Right now they're in two quart pots overwintering in a box by my back door with frozen soil. (I told you my house was cold!) Since they're zoned to 6, I'll have to drag them in every fall. <---pet peeve alert. Stop selling plants in areas they aren't zoned for!

I'll transplant them to three gallon pots in spring.
Obviously, pruning, besides shaping, is pretty much out of the question since it's suppose to bloom on both new and old wood.

Ugh! Why can't they just put more info on the freaking plant tags? This is one of my biggest pet peeves EVER. Give us more info, dang it!

So, does anyone know anything about 'First Red'?
Do you grow it?
I would be ever so grateful for some help on this one, please.

Happy (never enough tag info) Growing!


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I haven't heard of 'First Red' before. But for 50 cents each you can't go wrong. I would just leave them in a container for the first summer to see what the blooms and leaves look like. You might be able to narrow the type down that way.
Good luck with them, I love hydrangeas!

Tina said...

Hey, Catherine,
thanks for popping in!
Yes, I think that's what I'm going to end up doing.
I guess I'll see what I end up with. Though I wish I could just find more info - I'm the inpatient sort...

Kevin Richardson said...

Hello! I fell into the same trap (purchased 'First Red', although I think that I might have paid a little more. I originally had mine in part sun, but it didn't seem to do well. However, it might have been slightly diseased at the time. So, last Fall, I transplanted it into my shade/part shade garden. I'm going to try it again in part sun and see what happens. Where are you going to plant yours? Have you found any other information on the plant?

Please keep me in the loop!