Hydrangea is a shrub easy to grow. It produces such an abundance of splendid inflorescences that it has enough to crack all lovers of flower gardens. Let’s find out how to grow the most common species ofhydrangea commonly known as hydrangea, a name of no botanical value. It is mainly used in the horticultural field and it is the one that the general public uses more readily.
Plant a Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
It is ideally in autumn that the Hydrangea is planted, but it is also possible to plant it in late spring, or even in summer, provided that the risk of frost is removed and that the summer temperatures are not too high.
Planting a Hydrangea purchased in a container is carried out as follows:
- Soak the root ball in a basin of water to rehydrate it,
- Dig a big enough hole, at least twice the size of the root ball,
- Prepare the substrate with the garden soil, three large shovels decomposed compost and, if the soil is calcareous, mix in equal parts the soil of the garden and the soil of heather,
- Place a few handfuls of crushed horn reduced to powder then up to half height, fill with the earth / compost mixture,
- Take the plant out of the water basin,
- Untangle the root bun without damaging the roots to facilitate recovery,
- Install the Hydrangea in the middle of the planting hole, making sure the collar is flush with the ground,
- Fill the hole again with the rest of the mixture,
- Pack all around the foot,
- Water generously.
If we wish plant several subjects, it is necessary to separate the shrubs from each other by 90 to 100 cm because after some time they take a nice size.
Cultivation of Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
Hydrangea, commonly known as Hydrangea, do not appreciate full sun. It must therefore be exposed between partial shade and shade. For it to flower, this condition must be respected, knowing that a place in the West or in the North is greatly preferable to a full southern exposure. It can be planted near large trees that will give it all the shade it needs or even near a perimeter wall or the house.
This shrub particularly appreciates acid soils, fresh and humus. But a neutral soil is all the same preferable to a limestone soil, this one must imperatively be cut with heather land in order to preserve the basic color of its flowers. If you are not careful, blue can quickly turn pink!
Maintain your Hydrangeas
No need to spend your time caring for your hydrangeas to be able to admire their splendid summer bloom, bringing pretty touches of pink or blue to the garden. They are undemanding shrubs.
During the first year after planting, Hydrangea needs regular and sufficient watering. The soil should never be dry, but the roots should not be allowed to bathe in water.
Subsequently, watering from time to time is necessary, especially when it is very hot or when the rains are sorely lacking, and it must be more followed throughout the flowering period. In any case, it should be remembered that, whatever its age, the Hydrangea should never run out of water.
It is advisable to install a mulch at the foot of hydrangeas to maintain sufficient freshness and limit the development of unwanted weeds. We can thus save a few tens of liters of water over a season and spend less time weeding.
The ideal mulch for Hydrangea and the one with pine bark because it brings a certain acidity to the earth by decomposing. It takes about 7 cm thick for a completely satisfactory mulching.
Heather soil contributions
With the exception of the Breton region where the Hydrangeas retain their beautiful blue color without special care, in the other regions of France it is essential to make very regular contributions of so-called heather soil so that this color does not fade.
It is advisable to add a fertilizer rich in alumina sulfate, from November to March, in order to complete the action of the heather soil, this type of fertilizer being called bluing fertilizer.
This shrub plant also needs a fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potash since this promotes flowering while preventing the softening of the stems. And to bring the Hydrangea thenitrogen which he also needs, the nettle manure is perfect.
Size is only for young shrubs which bloom for the first time. It is in the spring following flowering that care must be taken to cut off all the faded buds, by severing each stem just above a bud. Of course, we always select the most vigorous hydrangea buds.
Subsequently, the pruning is limited to removing sickly stems or dead wood, and a rejuvenation waist when the branches are a little too old. In this way, we obtain a renewal of the young stems which will provide more flowers. Be careful, however, to only remove a maximum of three old branches per year. On the other hand, cutting back a Hydrangea of more than 30 cm cancels all flowering the following year since the buds are removed at the same time.
Small special mention for the paniculated hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) which must be pruned differently so that it produces larger white panicles but in fewer numbers: the shoots of the last year are to be cut above the lowest pair of buds. If, however, a larger number of panicles are preferred, even if they are smaller, then it is not necessary to prune the Hydrangea panicle.
Parasites and diseases
Hydrangea is sensitive to mealybug which rages in June. It is recognizable by the whitish cottony visac that it carries on its back and one can suspect its presence in the honeydew which it deposits on the stems and which attracts ants. The fluffy mealybugs feed on the sap of many plants and can therefore wreak havoc. The plant is sprayed after laying, in June, with a mixture of water and black soap or water and beer. All affected plant parts must be removed and burned.
In very dry and hot weather, the red spiders can invade hydrangeas. Watering in rain is enough to make them disappear. Otherwise, we can use a anti-mite for plants.
Finally, it should be noted that an excess of humidity can cause in Hydrangea cryptogamic diseases, that is to say due to a fungus. This is the case of botrytis or powdery mildew or white rot. The use of Bordeaux mixture gives good results in case of botrytis, and to treat white rot, an anti-powdery fungicide is used. To play the prevention card, we water only at the base of the plants without wetting the foliage and we take care to space the hydrangeas sufficiently when planting so that the air circulates between the shrubs.
The Hydrangea is a bushy plant that blooms profusely as long as the growing conditions fully meet its needs. From June to September, each specimen is covered with magnificent flowers and large diameter, which are the pride of all gardeners. Besides, who has never stopped in front of a garden to admire the profusion of hydrangea flowers, highlighting a path or a terrace? This plant brings great delight without being very demanding.
The wilted flowers must be removed gradually so that the plant retains a beautiful appearance, except for young feet as we specified in the paragraph reserved for size.
We can also create pretty bouquets of cut flowers. They hold well in a vase, provided that their stems are cut at an angle and that when installing them in the vase, care is taken to remove all the lower leaves that may soak in water. It is best to then place the bouquet in a place protected from direct sunlight. It remains to supplement each day the water level which drops rapidly because the hydrangea flowers in vase drink a lot.