Skip to Content

Summer Crush Hydrangea Care

The Summer Crush Hydrangea is set to be a favorite for a long time. It’s a mix of two Hydrangea macrophylla types. It’s part of the Endless Summer Hydrangeas collection.

The Summer Crush Hydrangea, a perennial sporting large red blooms, is quite simple to maintain, thriving on just sunlight and water. However, there are additional steps you can take to enhance their beauty, which we will explore in this article.

Summer Crush Hydrangea care

Summer Crush Hydrangea

Plant profile

Care/requirements Summer Crush Hydrangea
Hardiness: USDA zone 4a-9b
Size: Height 18-36” and Width 17-36”
Shape: Rounded with upright stems.
Type: Perennial, deciduous, shrub.
Light requirements: 4-6 hours of direct sun per day.
Soil: Loam or amended soil.
Soil pH: 5.5-7.5 Grow best in slightly acidic to little alkaline soil.
Watering: 1-2 times per week in drought. Don’t water in the winter.
Growth rate: Fast
Blooming: Late spring and early fall. On old and new wood.
Flowers color: Red, pink, purple.
Leaves color: Bright green.
Fragrance: Low scent.
Pots: Needs a large pot and frequent watering.
Best time for planting: Early spring and early fall.
Pruning: Deadheading after flowering and removing deadwood.
Reblooming: In early fall.
Spacing: 4 feet apart (center to center).
Transplanting: Early fall or early spring.
Winter care: In 4-5 zones you need to cover hydrangeas.
Spring care: Uncover hydrangeas when there is no risk of late frosts. Remove all plant debris.
Fall care: Keep the soil around it slightly moist. Avoid the use of fertilizer. Remove all deadwood and fallen leaves.
Fertilizer: Balanced NPK formula, once per year.
Propagation: By cuttings in early spring.
Deer resistant: No
Problems: Pests, diseases.

Planting

Get your hydrangea in the ground the right way. Make your planting hole twice as big and deep as the hydrangea’s root ball from its pot.

Set the hydrangea in the hole, aligning the garden surface with the potted plant’s surface. Ensure you don’t bury the spot where stems and roots meet.

Press the soil around the roots lightly and water it a bit. After the water sinks in, add more soil if needed.

Best Planting Time

Plant Summer Crush hydrangea in spring or fall. In spring, do it before leaves and flowers show up for easier root settling. For autumn planting, do it in September so it roots before the first frost.

Ideal Planting Spot

Partial shade is where Summer Crush Hydrangea thrives. Morning sun and afternoon shade are perfect.

It’s fine to plant it near your house as it won’t harm the foundation. It suits garden beds or alongside other plants well.

Spacing for Summer Crush Hydrangea

Plant them 4 feet apart, center to center. This spacing allows each plant the width of a grown Summer Crush Hydrangea plus an extra foot. This prevents overcrowding and ensures good air flow.

Sunlight Needs for Summer Crush Hydrangea

Too much sun

Summer Crush Hydrangea sunburn

The amount of sun Summer Crush Hydrangea needs varies across the U.S. In the northern regions, it can take quite a bit of light, with 6-8 hours of direct morning sun being ideal.

Down in the south, particularly in zones 8-9, this variety needs more shade than in the north. Here, it should get no more than 6 hours of morning sun, followed by diffused sunlight or light shade for the rest of the day.

Among mophead hydrangeas, Summer Crush is one of the best at handling full sun. In zones 4-5, it can even grow in full sun conditions.

However, it’s not suited for full shade. In complete shade, it might survive for a while, but the lack of light will eventually stop it from blooming. Over time, the hydrangea’s crown may loosen, leading to its likely demise.

Read also: Can Summer Crush Hydrangeas Take Full Sun?

Soil Requirements

Summer Crush Hydrangea care

Yellowed leaves due to high soil pH.

Summer Crush is versatile, thriving in various soils. However, for heavy, clay-like soils, you’ll need to make some improvements. This helps prevent water from stagnating and makes it easier for the hydrangea’s roots to develop.

Enhance your soil by adding several buckets of high-quality compost to the planting hole, mixing it with the existing soil. This compost should be free from pests and diseases, and both homemade and store-bought varieties work well.

Soil pH and Summer Crush Hydrangea

Summer Crush Hydrangea adapts to both acidic and alkaline soils. In acidic soils, the blooms turn purple, while in alkaline soils, they become pink. If the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0, the flowers will show a red hue.

Watering Guidelines

Underwatering

Underwatered hydrangea.

Water your Summer Crush Hydrangea whenever the soil dries out more than half an inch deep. Simply use your finger to check the soil moisture and water the plant sufficiently if it’s dry.

Newly planted Summer Crush Hydrangeas need consistent watering in their first year, as they’re prone to dying from dryness. Established hydrangeas can survive with less water, though they might not bloom well or could develop minor leaf burns.

Frequency and Quantity of Watering

On average, water your Summer Crush Hydrangea once or twice a week, unless it rains. Skip watering if there’s even a slight rainfall. During hot weather, the soil may dry quickly, necessitating watering every 2-3 days.

A single bush typically needs 1-2 gallons of water, and a fully grown hydrangea shouldn’t need more than 3 gallons per watering.

Avoiding Overwatering and Underwatering

Be cautious not to overwater, as this can cause root rot, which is often fatal for the plant. Stick to the recommended amount to prevent making the soil too soggy.

Underwatering may lead to drooping leaves or burns, but the plant usually recovers quickly once regular watering is resumed. Just make sure to maintain a consistent watering schedule.

Blooming

All hydrangeas, including Summer Crush, are famous for their flowers. The individual flowers of this variety, like most hydrangeas, are small, around 1 inch in diameter. However, their clusters are impressive, reaching up to 5 inches across.

Summer Crush has a unique twice-a-season blooming pattern. Its first bloom appears in late spring, typically between mid and late May, though the timing can vary with the climate. This blooming phase can last for most of the summer.

The second bloom occurs in early fall and tends to be shorter than the first.

One of the first Bigleaf Hydrangeas to bloom on both old and new wood, Summer Crush is versatile; you can prune it almost any time of the year.

Color

Summer Crush usually sports red flowers due to its natural color in neutral soil. However, the color changes to purple in acidic soil and pink in alkaline soil. You can influence the flower color by adjusting the soil pH.

To change the color, start by testing your soil’s pH. If you desire purple flowers in neutral soil, add aluminum sulfate near the roots. For pink flowers, add garden lime.

Blooming problems

There are a few reasons why Summer Crush Hydrangeas might not bloom. Excessive sunlight is one; these plants should not be exposed to more than 4 hours of direct sun.

Overwatering is another issue. Water the hydrangeas only when the topsoil is dry, ensuring the soil remains moist but not wet after watering.

Lastly, too much fertilizer can lead to vigorous growth but no flowers.

Read also: Why the Summer Crush Hydrangea doesn’t bloom?

Pruning

Pruning Summer Crush Hydrangea is straightforward. This variety benefits from two types of pruning: deadheading and deadwood removal.

The ideal time for pruning is right after the flowers have bloomed. Deadheading involves removing spent flowers, which isn’t mandatory but encourages more robust blooming the following year.

When deadheading, be gentle to avoid harming the stems. Snip off the faded flower heads at their base on the stem. This action prompts the plant to form new buds for the next season’s flowers.

You can remove deadwood at any point in the year.

If you need to prune Summer Crush outside of the usual time, it’s quite forgiving. Since it blooms on both old and new wood, cutting some stems won’t prevent it from flowering. Just avoid pruning this year’s growth in spring and trimming right before the blooming period.

Read also: Do You Cut Back Summer Crush Hydrangea?

Transplanting

The ideal times to transplant Summer Crush Hydrangea are in early spring or early fall, thanks to favorable conditions during these periods.

When removing the hydrangea from its original spot, take care to avoid harming the roots. It’s best to keep the root ball intact to minimize transplant shock.

Once you’ve chosen a new spot for your hydrangea (guidance on selection and planting is provided above), relocate and plant it there.

Post-transplant, provide some shade for the Summer Crush Hydrangea for a few weeks to protect it from direct sunlight. Additionally, ensure regular watering, as outlined previously for newly planted hydrangeas.

Read also: Do Summer Crush Hydrangeas Change Color?

Growing in pots

Summer Crush Hydrangea care

Summer Crush Hydrangea care in pots.

To successfully grow Summer Crush Hydrangea in a pot, selecting the right container is crucial. The pot should be at least 2 feet wide and deep, though larger is better. Ensure it has 3 or 4 drainage holes.

Use a potting mix of equal parts compost and regular garden soil.

Watering is key for potted hydrangeas; they require more frequent watering than garden-planted ones. During hot and dry conditions, daily watering is necessary.

Feed your potted hydrangea twice per season. The requirements for sunlight and other conditions are similar to those for hydrangeas grown in gardens.

Read also: How To Grow Summer Crush Hydrangea In Pots

Winter care

If you’re gardening in zones 4 or 5, it’s important to protect your Summer Crush Hydrangea from frostbite during winter. The ideal time to cover them is in late fall. There’s a variety of effective covering materials available in the market.

Uncover the hydrangeas in spring, ensuring there’s no risk of late frost. Stay updated with the weather forecast to make timely decisions. If hydrangeas are left uncovered or if the cover is removed too soon, they may suffer frostbite, but they’ll typically survive and recover over time.

For zones 7-9, hydrangeas don’t require covering. Just water them adequately in the fall to ensure they retain enough moisture throughout the winter.

Read also: How To Winterize Summer Crush Hydrangea?

Fertilizing Summer Crush Hydrangea

Improper fertilization

Improper fertilization of hydrangea.

To ensure your Summer Crush Hydrangea flourishes, opt for a slow-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) ratio. Apply this once in early spring annually, and it will provide the necessary nutrients throughout the season.

You can also use a fertilizer with a slightly higher phosphorus content to encourage more abundant blooms.

Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can result in poor flowering and negatively affect the health of your hydrangea.

Read also: What Do Summer Crush Hydrangeas Eat?

Dealing with Problems in Summer Crush Hydrangea

Summer Crush Hydrangea care

Powdery mildew on hydrangea leaves.

Summer Crush Hydrangea, like other plants, can face diseases and pests. Brown spots on leaves often indicate fungal infections, treatable with fungicide sprays.

Common pests like insects and spider mites can also affect hydrangeas. Typically, 1-2 applications of horticultural oil should suffice to eliminate them.

Deer Resistance

Unfortunately, Summer Crush Hydrangea isn’t deer-resistant. Deer, along with other animals like rabbits, can harm these plants. If deer are a concern in your area, consider protective measures like fencing, repellents, or even dogs to deter them.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellow leaves on Summer Crush Hydrangea usually signify iron deficiency, known as chlorosis. This often happens in overly alkaline soil. Adding compost or soil acidifiers, which are available commercially, can help correct this issue.

Read also: Why Are Summer Crush Hydrangea Leaves Turning Brown?

Wilting Hydrangea

Wilting in Summer Crush Hydrangea typically occurs due to insufficient water. The plant may struggle to absorb and distribute moisture quickly enough, especially in sunny conditions. To address this, consider relocating the hydrangea to a less sunny spot and increase your watering routine.

Read also: Why Is My Summer Crush Hydrangea Dying?

Propagation of Summer Crush Hydrangea

The most effective method for propagating Summer Crush Hydrangea is through cuttings. In early spring, snip cuttings from the top of the plant. Ensure each cutting has 3-4 nodes and is about 4 inches long.

Plant each cutting one-third deep in individual pots filled with sterile soil. A seed potting mix is ideal for this purpose. After planting, water the cuttings to maintain moist soil, then place the pots in a greenhouse.

Maintain high humidity in the greenhouse and water the cuttings periodically to prevent the soil from drying out. With proper care, the cuttings will sprout leaves after some time and develop their own root systems by the end of the year.