Posted on: 18 October 2016
If you're looking for a reliable and beautiful ornamental tree or shrub for your borders or to display in pots on a patio, the hydrangea could fit the bill perfectly. There are many different types of hydrangea, from mini-shrubs or climbers to larger specimens, and they range in colour from white or cream to blue, mauve, and pink. The flowers appear during the summer months, lasting right through the autumn and often changing in shade as they age, providing a long season of interesting colour.
Here's some more information about the care of hydrangea plants.
Site and soil
Hydrangeas enjoy partial shade and don't do well in full sun, which can fade the flowers and scorch foliage. A spot that's sheltered from the wind is perfect.
These plants enjoy fertile soil that's kept moist. It's helpful to add some well-rotted farmyard manure or organic mulch in the spring to keep the roots damp and provide plenty of additional nutrients for the growing season.
Hydrangea flowers change colour, depending on the levels of aluminium contained in the soil, which is determined by its pH level. You can therefore influence the colour of your plant's blooms by adding a bluing agent that contains aluminium sulphate. Your local plant wholesaler should be able to supply you with this, or you could source some online. Alternatively, the addition of ericaceous compost will have the same effect.
Hydrangeas of all types don't require much pruning or trimming to keep them healthy and in good shape. Most varieties produce blooms on the previous season's growth so it's important not to cut it away.
Wait until the plants have finished flowering, and then remove the dead flower heads, reducing the stem length as you do so. This helps to keep the plant from becoming straggly and encourages more vigorous flowering. If you live in an area that has cold winters, it's a good idea to leave the faded flowers in situ until the new buds form in the springtime. This provides the delicate new growth with protection from frost.
If you've chosen a climbing variety of hydrangea, you will need to give it some help in its early years by tying the stems to supports until they attach firmly to your fence or wall. When the plant has finished flowering, prune away the faded flower heads and cut back the stems to keep the plant tidy.
Hydrangeas make a reliable and hardy addition to your garden or patio. Visit your local plant wholesaler to learn more about the varieties they have available and how to ensure healthy growth and abundant flowering.Share