We have four Hydrangea Endless Summer in our landscape at home and they truly are bloom making machines.
They are resilient and they respond well to pruning.
Since they are in front of the porch railing we can’t let them get too large so we trim as needed and it doesn’t slow down the blooming at all.
How can a plant like this bloom all summer long?
Hydrangea Endless Summer is in the Macrophylla family of hydrangeas.
Macrophyllas typically bloom on old wood, meaning that the flower shoots emerge from deeper in the plant, flower buds forming on the growth from the previous growing season.
But Endless Summer is different.
It is said to bloom on both old wood and new wood, meaning that it will form flower buds on growth from the current growing season.
That’s why it has the ability to bloom over and over all summer long. It just keeps making new flowers!
Changing the color of Hydrangeas from pink to blue.
The color of the flowers on Endless Summer will range from pink like you see in these photos to a dark blue if the soil is on the acid side.
You can change the PH of the soil by adding Aluminum Sulfate to the soil on the plant.
If you buy a product like this that is designed exactly for that purpose you can just follow the directions on the bag. I found this on Amazon.
A patented plant? What does that mean?
Hydrangea Endless Summer is a patented plant, which means that unless you have purchased a license from the patent holder you cannot propagate the plant.
And of course getting a license is expensive and in most cases they want you to promise that you will root and grow many thousands of them each season because you have to pay a royalty for each plant that you grow.
What if I just want to root a few for myself? Can I do that?
No, you can’t. Patented plants are protected from all forms of asexual propagation, even if it’s just for you and your grandmother.
Asexual means from cuttings, leaves or stems. Seeds would be okay but from seed, you won’t get a true clone of the parent plant.
It is legal to buy small plants from a licensed grower, grow them on and resell them. When you buy the rooted cuttings from the licensed grower you pay the royalty that is due at that time.
But as is often the case with patented plants you are also required to buy branded pots as well.
They don’t want their patented plants growing in a generic nursery pot, they want the plants in a branded pot so they can be easily spotted in the garden center.
That’s why when you visit a garden center these days you see so many branded (colored) pots in the display area.
As a small grower like I am, this makes adding a plant like this to my inventory prohibitive. At least as far as I’m concerned.
Since I am not allowed to propagate the plant I’d have to buy at least 300 of them at a time to put them into inventory, then as they started to sell down I’d have to order several hundred more.
Each time I place an order I’d also have to order 300 of these fancy branded nursery containers. For me, that’s just way too much money to tie up in a single plant in my inventory.
I get why the patent holders love to patent plants like this, (they collect royalties on every plant grown and sold) but I like to grow and sell small plants for $5.97 each.
I’d like to think that by doing so I am doing my customers a great service by offering plants at that price point. But it’s cost prohibitive to add a plant like this to my inventory.
So what’s the solution to this whole patented plant thing?
The solution is easy. I just don’t grow them and in almost all cases you can find a plant that looks just like, acts just like and performs as well as the patented plant.
In the case of Hydrangea Endless Summer, there’s another macrophylla hydrangea that is very much like Endless Summer and it’s a great plant to grow and sell.
Introducing All Summer Beauty Hydrangea!
From what I can see All summer Beauty Hydrangea is just as nice as Endless Summer and I really can’t see any difference at all.
All Summer Beauty blooms on both new and old wood, it blooms all summer, it’s not patented so we are free to propagate and sell this plant.
I like this option because I can grow and sell them at my favorite price of just $5.97 each! As soon as I find them I will be buying hundreds of Hydrangea All Summer Beauty.
Think about that. If you had several hundred All Summer Beauty Hydrangeas rooted and ready to go in your backyard right now. They would be sold! Just like that! Get Paid for Growing Small Plants at Home! Take a Peek.
At this time I don’t have any photos of All Summer Beauty that I can share with you, but that’s on my to-do list.
I hope to buy several hundred this spring, pot them up and start taking cuttings from them. I will get you some photos of All Summer Beauty!
Rooting Cuttings of Hydrangea.
Hydrangea are easy to root and the ideal time to do them is early summer right on thru September.
Just take tip cuttings about four or five inches long, dip them in a rooting compound and stick them in a container like the one shown on this page. On that page, you will complete details about rooting cuttings.
How do you or should you prune Hydrangeas?
Last summer I wrote a really good article about Hydrangea pruning. I know it was a really good article because I wrote it! Just kidding.
Take a peek, you can find my Hydrangea Pruning Article here. My goal with that article was to simplify the confusing subject of how to prune Hydrangeas and I think I accomplished that.
Questions or comments about Hydrangea Endless Summer? Post them below, I’m happy to answer them for you.
I realize this article is a few years old now, but if I’m not mistaken, the patent for endless summer expires this fall. Which means that it can then be propagated and reproduced without any legal consequences. You didn’t mention that plant patents had expiration dates of 20 years, and I just thought it would be good to mention.
Thanks for all the great content!
I don’t know when the patent expires, you’d have to look that up. But the name is a registered trademark and is protected forever. You cannot use the name and could only sell it by it’s botanical name. Don’t consider this legal advice. I’m a dirt farmer, not a patent attorney.
Ellie Hanson says
2020 Update: I’m in Vancouver BC Canada and I’m told “All Summer Beauty” is licensed (patented) in Canada so we can’t propagate it. Mike, can you suggest any other varieties that bloom all summer and aren’t licensed? Cheers, Ellie
I don’t see anywhere where this plant is listed with Canadian breeder rights so you need to look into that. And see this list; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2019/03/non-patented-public-domain-plants-that-you-should-be-free-to-propagate/
You can get David Ramsey or Oak hill or Penny Mac , all very close to All summer beauty
Gosh dang it Mike (pardon my obscenity) now I can’t propagate my hydrangea without a licence and I already done cloned it. dag nab it I don’t care. They will get my hydrangea clone when they come and dig it out of my garden. Let them try to figure out which one is the original and which is the unlicensed clone. Oh but wait, I do have a licence. Does driver licence count?
A driver’s license is probably not going to work and truth be told it’s almost impossible to get licensed to grow certain patented plants. A friend of mine, a wholesale grower, was told; “No thanks, we already have enough licensed growers, we don’t need any more.”
Haha! I’m with you! Every time a branch breaks off I root it and fill in my hydrangea hedge!
Will hydrangea grow in South Florida? (Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton area.)
I honestly don’t know, but if you can’t buy them at your local garden centers then I’d say no.
Catalin Carcu says
Dear Mike, I follow your posts from Romania and I would like to check what gardening tips would work for me. What heat zone are you living? Regards,
I’ in USDA zones 5 or 6 depending on the new or old map.
Yes they can
Terry Thomas says
Mike, here in the suburbs of Atlanta, we don’t have to prune our hydrangeas, the deer do it for us. All the way down to the nub.
I find that using a mixture of Oil of Peppermint (about 1 oz) in a gallon of water sprayed over your plants will deter deer making a meal of them. Of course, you will have to re-spray after rains, but it’s worth it to save your plants. Good luck.
Jeanne Stull Hackworth says
Deer Out is the very best deer repellent. You can only but it on amazon.
If we do not have an u usual amount of rain, it lasts for 3 months. AND, it does not stink!
I found this hortenzia here in Europe, Hungary. It is written in the origin of USA.
I would like to ask that this hydrangea really is this color, blue and pink at the same time? AlSo4 without treatment?
It can be bought at home in Hungary, but I’m afraid there will not be any.
If that’s true, Mike You surely know, I would buy it even though it’s expensive.
Hydrangea macrophylla L.A. Dreamin
Thanks Mike 🙂
I’ve seen this L.A. Dreamin Hydrangea and I’m guessing that it’s very much like Endless Summer or the non patented version All Summer Beauty. I actually gave my friend an All Summer Beauty to plant next to her L.A. Dreamin just to see how they perform side by side.
Robert Davis says
I started growing in my backyard after finding you and your guides online and to give it a kick in the pants, I am blind and live in Alabama which is zone 8. As you have said, there are no excuses on getting started with this and be successful at it! I have found a link to the unpatented plant and if this helps at all.
Hope this helps!
Yes, I have now have hundreds of All Summer Beauty Hydrangeas in my nursery and in my latest video you can see the hardwood cuttings making flowers when they barely have roots.
Bonnie crim says
Are you interested in selling some cuttings? If so, please contact me Thank you.
Right now I have no hydrangea cuttings to sell but they are often available in our members area. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Wayne McKay says
I think I know the answer to this question, but hopefully some can give me a better choice!!
I have a Nikko Blue Hydrangea (Zone 5) I have had it for 6 years. It grows every summer from the ground up and is a beautiful full plant, but every winter the frost & cold weather kills it off and it starts the following year from the ground up again. It has never had flowers because they bloom on the last seasons growth … and there never is any last seasons growth for buds to survive on..
I have tried wrapping it with burlap, framing it with wood , I even used chicken wire filled with leaves and wrapped with burlap ( I was getting desperate 🙂 none of these worked.
Last spring I dug it out of the ground and put it into a pot, it grew wonderfully all summer, in the fall I put it into an unheated garage before the frost got it, and this spring I put it back outside, Last years growth survived and I think I may have blooms this year … Question: Is that my only option for this plant? I am in zone 4a/4b
Thank you for any help you can give, to help me to keep it in the garden and not in a pot
All the best
Nikko Blue is not a very dependable bloomer in colder states, I would opt for another variety that is better at blooming like Endless Summer, maybe All Summer Beauty.
I thought mine was an Endless Summer buy maybe it’s a Nikko Blue…I’ve had it many, many years and the only blooms on it were the ones when I brought it home. Might pull it out this year….we shall see!
I have 2 Endless Summer Hydrangea’s, one is 3 years old and the other is 2 years old. These were 1 gallon shrubs bought from a garden center, The older one had one bloom this past summer and the other one had none. They both receive full sun and I really didn’t fertilize them that much. I dug up the 2 year old last Sept. and move it to the back of the house where it will get less sun and I’ll see what happens this summer. Even my white hydrangea which blooms on old and new wood, which I’ve had for over 5 years didn’t get as many blooms as it usually does. It is always covered in blooms all summer into early fall. Northeastern PA had a bad winter last year but the weather was beautiful from May to Nov of 2015. What can I do to get them to bloom better?
I don’t do a thing for those in my landscape and they bloom like crazy. Most importantly water them a bit when dry, they should bloom nicely. I’m not a big fan of fertilizing plants in a landscape, I never do it. The plants know what to do. I’m curious about endless summer in one gallon, they usually are not sold that small.
Linna Lawrence says
This year I got very poor blooming results from all my Hydrangeas:( I put fertilizer on them but to no avail. The varieties I have are; Oakleaf H., Incrediball H., Bobo H., Pistachio H., Pinky Winky H. and Limelight H,. Where have I gone wrong? they are all in large containers and got watered everyday during the heat spell we had here in Poulsbo, Washington . I used the best potting mix I could, They weren’t in hot blazing sun all day….I just don’t know….help please:)
A high nitrogen fertilizer can actually impede blooming because the nitrogen forces vegetative growth. But plants in containers need fertilzer so be sure to use something like triple 14 Osmocote. Not garden fertilizer! My take on hydrangeas is that you just have to be patient. Don’t tinker with them constantly, they know what to do. You have to give them a chance to do it and many macropylla hydrangeas need a whole growing season to make a flower. Give them a little osmocote in the spring and let them do what they do.
Mike I have hydrangeas cuttings that rooted in 4 weeks via your method of small tub with the pencils and plastic bag along with sand.I have about 50 of them ready to go. How should they be transplanted next and which method.
I am in Chicago and the last two mornings it has been cold.
Just need support what to do next so they will make this winter.
Best thing you can do is get them out of the rooting medium and plant them in your garden and water as needed. For the up coming winter they will be much better off planted in the ground rather than in the rooting container. Don’t fertilize them, just plant them in reasonable soil.
Enjoy reading your post. There is no Hydreagea plants you mentioned in our local nursery. They have “forever and ever Hydreagea “. Are they as good as all summer beauty Hydreagea ?
Forever & Ever is brand much like Proven Winners. They actually have a number of different hydrangeas under that brand and the brand is trademarked. This is not something that I would propagate in my nursery because the brand is protected. My goal with our members is to propagate and grow beautiful plants that are in the public domain. Making sure those forever remain in the public domain.
First off I want to say that I have recently come across your story and methods and I have been successfully implementing your advice. Keep up the good work. My question is about rooting cuttings from a macrophylla hydrangea. You say to make tip cuttings, but should the leaves be stripped as well? Also, should the tip cutting come from a stem that has already budded?
Just take tip cuttings, remove any flower buds but leave a few leaves at the top and use one of these methods, this time of year. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Rebecca Smith says
Hi Mike, I have a large hydrangea that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. (I am in zone 7). For several years it has gotten dark colored spots on the leaves which eventually causes the bush to defoliate. Is there any treatment that will help get rid of this problem? Thank you, Becky
Any general fungicide would work and there are some organic solutions as well. Check the Gardens Alive website for organic treatments.
joseph conrad says
If Hydrangea’Endless Summer is PPAF may it be freely propagated?
No, if a plant is PPAF it may not be propagated. Only thing is, it’s possible that the patent does not get issued for any reason but you have to research to find out for sure. But in this case, Endless Summer is patented.
Hi Mike! I need help with the hydrangea in my front yard! I have no idea what species it is. The first 2 yrs. it had beautiful blue flowers, for the past 2 years there has been no flowering at all. The leaves are green and the bush itself looks healthy, but no flowers. What should I do? Thanks!
Don’t do anything. Your hydrangea will bloom when you have a winter that doesn’t kill off the flower buds. About all you can do is be patient.
How do I know it’s an All Summer Beauty hydrangea if it’s in my yard?
If you don’t have the original plant tag you honestly don’t know and can’t find out. See my rant. http://freeplants.com/rant.htm
David Cleland says
My daugher .Loves hydrangeas and I understand that endless summer will do ok here in southwest fl. If you get some of the all summer beauty hydrangeas would sell me some so I can grow them for her ? I love your article and look forward to seeing them thanks for your help. Dave Cleland
I know have some All Summer Beauty Hydrangea in my nursery, they should be nice this September for our fall plant sales.
“And of course getting a license is expensive and in most cases they want you to promise that you will root and grow many thousands of them each season because you have to pay a royalty for each plant that you grow.”
Mike this statement is incorrect. It should read “promise NOT to root and grow…..”
His statement is correct. The patent holder does want you to promise to root and grow so you pay the royalties.
Hey Mike. Thank you for the information on the All Summer Beauty Hydrangea. I looked up the hardiness of the plant and it says to zone 5. I am in zone 4, would this work for me? Would I have to do something special in order to keep this alive through the winter months? Thank you.
Zone 4 might be a stretch but still worth a try for sure. There’s really not a lot you can do to protect a plant that isn’t hardy in a particular zone other than about 3″ of mulch and plant it in a protective place, maybe near a foundation where the heat from the home might keep the ground a little warmer.
Thank you for the response Mike.
Tawana Hill says
I have a hydrangea that looks very healthy but has never bloomed. It is in full sun! The leaves look very healthy but has never bloomed! Would appreciate a reply. I love your website!
I have a yellow leafed hydrangea that does the same thing. The flower buds never make it through the winter. All you can do is wait for a milder winter. I’d plant a couple of others that are better at blooming.
Hi mike I live in nj & have a problem with deer destroying my hydranges. Tried deer off but doesn’t seem 2 be working especially after it rains. Heard mixing dish soap & water in a spray bottle. Any suggestions? Enjoy ur newsletters & thank u for ur time!
Sue, use the search box on this site to find the article that we did about repelling deer a while back.
Mike, do you know of any plants that do not mind having their “feet” wet? We have an area that doesn’t have much drainage and the plants die off. I have tried putting in a french drain effect but it is not working – maybe I’m not doing it right. Since we are trying to make a barrier, we have been planting rose of sharon.
We are in NE Ohio.
Any help would be appreciated.
Golden Curls Willow, Dwarf Nana Willow which is blue, maybe bamboo I’m not sure about that. At the very least I’d build a raised mound to plant in.
dee weatherman says
Sue sometimes male urine will stop the deer have you boys or husband urinate around the plant .. also i have used Irish spring soap hanging from trees around my yard and that seems to keep them away .. and n chemicals to hurt your pets or the deer :
Hi mike. I live in nj & have a a lot of deer in my yard. Destroying my hydrangeas. I have tried using deer off but doesn’t seem 2 help especially after it rains. I heard spraying dish soap & water in spray bottle. Any suggestions? Enjoy ur newsletters! Thanks so much for ur time!
I live in Chicago and would like to try my hand at making compost but have VERY little space..what would you suggest as far as a bin or container and what can I put in it? Really want to go organic instead of chemical 🙂
Composting can be as easy as a bottomless trash can. Just about anything organic except food scraps that will attract rats or mice.
There is also Hydrangea mac. David Ramsey, which is even closer to the endless summer patent free as well.
Thanks Jon, always good information to have.
Mark Shipp says
That’s right! It is reported that David Ramsey (or Ramsay?) was tested by the the University of Arkansas and found to be virtually identical, genetically, to Endless Summer, but was sourced from a Univ of Georgia coach’s yard before Endless Summer ever came along.
Mark, that wouldn’t surprise me in the least. In this link, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=275027&isprofile=0& Missouri Botanical Gardens rates David Ramsey down to zone 6. My Endless Summer Hydrangea have undergone two brutal winters from 15 to 21 below zero. That’s typically not zone 6 weather. Maybe David Ramsey is tougher than we think.
Hi mike .i live in nj & unfortunately I wasn’t home & my housekeeper went & pruned my hydrangeas all down 2 the ground. There are about 10 years old. Should I fertilize them? I have been 2 a couple places & one says no & others say yes . Any suggestions?
margaret hayden says
RE: All summer hydrangea
Can these be planted in more sun than the regular ones? Like up to 6 hrs. or
Love hydrangeas but have limited shade and have lots of sun in front yard.
I’m sure they’ll do well in the sun, around here I see the growing in open fields. No shade at all.
Kind of confusing on the hydrangea pruning. You stated pruning right after blooming. What about the All Summer Beauty that blooms all summer. I do not understand how this one would be pruned.
Ideally prune it after the blooming season ends. Or pretty much prune anytime you want to.
Linna Lawrence says
I don’t quite understand extreme pruning of lovely showcase plants like Endless Summer, and some of the larger varieties of the Hydrangea family. I live in a very rural area where they’re allowed to grow to their full potential with some careful pruning to maintain a nice shape. A number of years ago I wrote to you about the wonderful variety of hydrangea called “Incrediball”. Always wanted to know what you thought of it. Still waiting to hear back:)
I really don’t know anything about the hydrangea that you mention and the link didn’t work. It’s a Proven Winners plant so it is something that I would not grow in my nursery. They make it too difficult for a small grower like me to handle their plants.
I attended an all day seminar on hydrangeas, taught by the president of the American Hydrangea Society. She reports that Dr. Michael Dirr (whom I believe developed Endless Summer) says they should be pruned heavily in July – here in the Mid-South – to produce good rebloom.
True or not I don’t know and I won’t argue with Michael Dirr, but I just leave mine and they bloom nicely most of the season.
Is there a way to tell if my neighbor’s Hydrangea bush is one of the All Summer’s?
http://www.waysidegardens.com/all-summer-beauty-hydrangea/p/48943/ has a tremendous write-up about this plant, complete with care instructions, etc. – very chatty and informative, along with good pictures of it in BLUE, but with the caveat that it’s either “pink (in alkaline or lime soil) or blue (in acid soil).” There are also attractive pictures of other hydrangeas at the bottom of the page – with their equally “attractive” HIGH prices! Of course, nothing is directly SAID about this being a non-patented variety, except for the omission of a patent #, nor what that could mean to a gardener who wanted to make a few bucks on the side by rooting whatever trimmings come off at pruning time! In fact, they are very kind to boast to their readers concerning just which plants ARE patented, or PPAF (Plant Patent Applied For) – and by NOT posting those, the implication to us is that a plant is NOT protected and is therefore “fair game” for anyone wanting to propagate it. So, folks, it’s all about reading the material or the plant tag and discovering for yourself what you can and can’t legally propagate.
I think some big growers get away with selling named varieties by simply not supplying name-tags on their plants. I used to swap cuttings of various ‘holiday’ cacti – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter – with people all over the country, so when I search the plant displays at various stores, I know some of the colors and shapes of flowers and/or ‘leaves’ (actually segmented stems) that are obviously named varieties. It’s getting harder and harder to find named plants for sale, and I believe it’s because the growers don’t want to spend/waste the time and money to get the license to sell each kind AND have to pay royalties on them, as Mike said. It’s falling-off-a-log easy to reproduce some plants, and if you don’t TELL people what named variety they are, who’s going to spend the money on DNA testing to PROVE what they are? John Q. Public, for the most part, doesn’t CARE about named plants, but he sure does know he can buy a lot more plants at $4.97 than he can at $14.97 or $24.97, if he doesn’t mind not having a patented-name tag on them!
Excellent comments. Over the next few months I will likely talk about this in great detail. Stay tuned!
Betty Raiford says
How do I know if a plant is patented or not? I’m sure if it’s a plant that I buy from a store there will be something on it to tell me. But suppose I am at a friend’s home and admire a plant and take a cutting? I have taken cuttings from some plants that are growing on our church property and have been propagating them. I haven’t a clue whether those plants are patented. For years, I’ve asked for cuttings from geraniums anywhere I see one that is a little different color, and have no idea whether those were patented either. Also have plants growing in my yard that were here when we moved in. Have taken cuttings from them without knowing whether they were patented. So how do I protect myself from accidentally getting in trouble by propagating a patented plant?
When you shop for plants in the garden store the tag will clearly indicate that the plant is patented. Cuttings from unknown sources? You have no way of knowing. If you are growing for profit this is a huge problem and I address the way around it in detail in my system. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Lou Pento says
Mike, I love your site. Can I grow hydrangeas in Naples Florida?
I’m guessing that it would be challenging. Hydrangeas, especially the macrophylla varieties often prefer a bit of shade. They also need a dormancy period so they can rest. Check with the big box stores and local garden centers, Szabo’s are in still in Naples right? Not sure if they still own the place or not but I worked for them when they were here in Ohio. They had a place right here in Perry for at least 25 years before they sold out and moved to Naples.
I grow them in orlando. I have an oakleaf hy that is eight feet tall. Some of the new varieties are supposed to work in the sun. I am going to try some of them.
What zone can you grow All Summer Beauty in? I live in zone 4 – northern SD. Thanks, Love your website!
Zone ratings are funny creatures. We’re supposed to be zone 6 now, but we spent many days below zero this winter. As cold as 15 below without the wind chill factor. So if I were in zone 4 I’d give them a try.
Not much difference in the two hydrangea varieties EXCEPT – I live in zone 3 – 4a, so that is a big difference for me. All Summer Beauty appears to be zone 5 +.
But I love reading your emails, etc., and would love to do your back yard gardening offer, as I am somewhat of a compulsive obsessive gardener (it’s a sickness). But I also have a job, and Mother will be 99 in May, so time is very precious. Perhaps I’ll give it a try, since you’re moving toward pulling the offer forever.
Thanks for all your wonderful helpful tips, etc.!
YOU CAN FIND PICTURES ON THIS LINK;
Thanks Sarah, ton of photos of All Summer Beauty there for sure!
dave richey says
do you have a pic of All summer Beauty Hydrangea which you’re advocating we go find and then propagate? Also if you have botanical name/cultivar info/etc that would be helpful.
dave richey says
Never mind question above … Dave’s had the pic/writeup/etc which I asked about … this variety does indeed match Endless Summer in beauty, size and I suspect you could easily get the blues and pink/lavenders with ph adapters … I wonder about the white varietals???
Most white Hydrangeas are are in the P.G. family, varieties like Annabelle. Proflific bloomers because they bloom on current growth, but only bloom once a season,
I don’t have a photo, I need to find some plants that I can grow out in the nursery.
Mike what would you suggest as a companion to a magnolia tree. I hate how bare it is beneath it.
Consider evergreen azaleas and blue rug juniper.