When To Transplant Hydrangeas & Blood Oranges

Question:

 I have a Hydrangea that I need to transplant into a larger container. When is the best time to do this and can I trim it at the same time? 

Answer:

  • There is no set time when not to transplant or transfer a Hydrangea from one container to another. It’s preferable when the temperatures are cool versus warm, dry conditions.  So, October through May is a good time to transplant.
  • It’s important to note that your plant is probably one of the newer varieties. These varieties bloom both on the new an old wood, so there aren’t any precautions when pruning.
    • This is not the case with varieties planted in the last century as they bloom only the second year wood.
    • With these varieties, you prune off the spent flowers and stems as close to the ground as you can get and prune the rest of the growth lightly to shape it. If you prune it too severely, you remove the flowering growth, and they don’t bloom again until the following year.
  •  Hydrangea can be pruned at the time you transplant or at another time.  This is a judgment call on your part. The typical time to prune is late fall through March or after a flush of flowers.  If you prune too late into the spring, the flowering cycle will be disrupted and they’ll much late than normal.

Question:

Four years ago, we planted a dwarf Blood Orange. The first two years this young tree produced no fruit, then last year it had one orange; however, when we cut it open, it was a regular orange color with a slight red color around the edge of the rind. This year the tree has twenty large oranges. How do we know if the orange flesh will be blood red inside? 

Answer:

  • Blood oranges can be quite fickle.
  • The red color, as well as the maturity, is determined by the variety as well as the location.  ‘Mora,’ ‘Sanguinelli’ and ‘Tarocco’ are the three most popular Blood Orange varieties planted. While they all turn orange when expected, they’re not necessarily mature, sweet or juicy.
  • Blood oranges require warm to hot summer days to mature plus frequent watering. The maturity date is extended by a mild summer. In addition, they tend to be sour when planted along the coast because of the summer marine layer. Tarocco matures mid-February to May.
  • The flesh color tends to be unreliable and deeply pigmented. The rind is orange blushed with red at maturity. 
  • Sanguinelli ripens in March thru mid-May with an orange flesh streaked with red. Moro’s flesh is a deep red, violet or burgundy and is harvested between February and April. You’ll have to use trial and error to determine when they are ripe on your tree.
  • Also, the fruit may have to hang on the tree longer after the expected ripening date so be patient. I’m going to guess that the best quality fruit comes later.