'Bailer' (Endless Summer™) is a new, pink- or blue-flowered hydrangea that flowers on new wood continuously throughout the growing season. It is also winter-hardy in northern, temperate climates (USDA Z4). Use of Endless Summer as a florist's potted hydrangea would provide consumers with a dual-use product (flowering potted plant, landscape shrub). The objectives were to determine if Endless Summer could be forced as a florist's hydrangea using two forcing regimes (immediate, standard), two soil pH regimes, and two pinching treatments. 'Merritt Supreme Pink' (pink), 'Blue Danube' (blue), and Endless Summer (blue, pink) were forced under immediate (no cold treatment, short- and long-day photoperiods) and standard (6 weeks cold, 4 °C to overcome dormancy) conditions. Since commercial liners were not yet available, cuttings of Endless Summer were used in the immediate forcing experiment. Days to visible flower bud, first color, full flower were recorded, as well as height, no. of branches, no. of flowers, and flower size. In the immediate forcing experiment, only Endless Summer produced flowers. Cultivars differed significantly (P < 0.001) for days to visible flower bud, days to first color, days to full flower, and height. The number of flowers and flower size were not significantly different among pink cultivars. In the standard forcing experiment, Endless Summer reached days to visible flower bud, days to first color, and days to full flower significantly earlier than either comparison, although it exhibited weaker stems and less intense flower pigmentation. Pinching (blue pH) had a significant effect on all traits except the days to full flower and flower size, although no pinching treatment was significant for pink pH. Photoperiod was significant only for the days to visible flower bud (pink pH), days to full flower (blue pH), and final height (blue pH). Further research is needed before Endless Summer can be grown as a dual-use florist's potted hydrangea with acceptable quality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by a grant from Bailey Nurseries, St. Paul, MN and supported by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
- Remontant flowering
- Undergraduate research
- Winter hardiness